Combustible and Electronic Tobacco Use Frequently Featured in Popular Hip-Hop Music Videos

rapper smoking

A newly published study assessed the prevalence of the appearance and use of combustible and electronic tobacco and marijuana products, including brand placement, in leading hip-hop songs.

Analysis of top 50 songs from 2013 to 2017 of Billboard magazine’s weekly Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs with videos that included the appearance or use of combustible tobacco and marijuana products (manufactured cigarettes, cigars, hookah or waterpipe, pipe, hand-rolled tobacco and marijuana products, marijuana buds); appearance of exhaled smoke or vapor without an identifiable source product; appearance or use of electronic tobacco and marijuana products (eg, electronic cigarettes); tobacco or marijuana brand placement; appearance or use of combustible and electronic tobacco and marijuana by main or featured artist. Data were collected from December 6, 2017, to June 4, 2018.

 

Findings included:

·               The proportion of leading hip-hop videos containing combustible use, electronic use, or smoke or vapor ranged from 40.2% (76 of 189) in 2015, to 50.7% (102 of 201) in 2016.

·               For each year, the leading category of combustible use was hand-rolled products.

·               The appearance of branded products increased from 0% in 2013 (0 of 82) to 9.9% in 2017 (10 of 101) for combustible products, and from 25.0% in 2013 (3 of 12) to 87.5% in 2017 (14 of 16) for electronic products.

·               The prevalence of combustible or electronic product use or exhaled smoke or vapor increased by quartile of total number of views: 41.9% (8700 to 19 million views) among songs in the first quartile of viewership and 49.7% among songs in the fourth quartile of viewership (112 million to 4 billion views).

 

The researchers concluded that the genre’s broad appeal, use of branded products by influential artists, and rise of electronic product and marijuana use may contribute to a growing public health concern of tobacco and marijuana use.

 

Source: Knutzen et al. (2018). Combustible and Electronic Tobacco and Marijuana Products in Hip-Hop Music Videos, 2013-2017. JAMA Internal Medicine, Oct 15. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4488. [Epub ahead of print]

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