You don't need to be signed in to read BMJ Blogs, but you can register here to receive updates about other BMJ products and services via our site.

Social media

Fashion and smoking: Celebrities “rebel” at the MET Gala

4 May, 17 | by Becky Freeman, Web Editor

Fashion and the tobacco industry have a long and intertwined history. Dated images of fashion models smoking while looking impossibly glamorous seem clichéd and old fashioned. Now, smoking is more a symbol of addiction, death, and corporate manipulation – no longer is smoking shorthand for rebellion, coolness and aspiration.

But, that didn’t stop celebrities attending the biggest and most celebrated fashion event of the year, the MET gala, from trying to resurrect smoking’s tarnished image. The event, held in New York as a fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, receives global media coverage with lead stories in the news, gossip, fashion, and lifestyle pages. It also spawns thousands of social media posts highlighting both the celebrities in attendance and their avant-garde fashion choices.

For example, the American fashion designer, Marc Jacobs, posted an image of himself smoking during the event in the “girls room” with celebrities Courtney Love (herself a paid spokesperson for NJOY e-cigarettes) and her daughter Frances Bean. The Marlboro cigarette packet can be clearly seen in Mr Jacobs’ hand. Associating the Marlboro brand with exclusivity, celebrity, fashion, and rebellion – smoking is illegal inside public buildings in New York.

No doubt Philip Morris is pleased to see its brand being held up as a fashion accessory. It sure beats being known for killing 2 out 3 of your best customers.

Smoking in the girls room #metgala @chardefrancesco @courtneylove @space_witch666

A post shared by Marc Jacobs (@themarcjacobs) on

Smoking in the girls room #metgala @chardefrancesco @courtneylove @space_witch666

A post shared by Marc Jacobs (@themarcjacobs) on May 1, 2017 at 6:31pm PDT

World No Tobacco Day Vietnam: social media, a bike rally and public transport get the message out

29 Jun, 13 | by Marita Hefler, News Editor


Contributors and photos: Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance; Stephen Hamill, World Lung Foundation; Tran Vu, Vietnam Public Health Association; Nguyen Xuan Lam, Vietnam Public Health Association.

The national week of Tobacco Control in Vietnam kicked off with a ceremony held on 25 May. Organized by the Vietnam Committee on Smoking or Health (VINACOSH), it attracted 450 participants from the National Assembly, Government Offices, related Ministries, WHO Vietnam, Tobacco Control Working Groups, mass media and students.

Dr Sarah England from Bloomberg Philanthropies expressed congratulations for the approval of Vietnam’s new tobacco control law and conveyed an official letter of Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York city to the Vietnam Prime Minister for the great achievements of Vietnam in curbing the tobacco epidemic. The Vice Minister of Health, Vietnam conveyed his appreciation and acknowledged the considerable support of all ministries, sectors and mass organizations, international donors (Bloomberg Philanthropies, SEATCA) for the cause of tobacco control in Vietnam. Click here to read more and see photos from the event at the SEATCA webpage.

Hà N?i: L? mít tinh hu?ng ?ng Ngày Th? gi?i Không thu?c lá (31/5







Social media for public engagement

VINACOSH, together with a coalition of Vietnamese health groups and international NGOs including the World Lung Foundation, collaborated in an innovative effort to use online media to engage the public around implementation of a new smoke-free law.

The effort combined broadcast television spots with an online petition at (‘smoke free Vietnam’) and Facebook page to grow awareness of which types of public spaces were covered by the new law, and to allow people to pledge to support the law and share the campaign with their friends through social media. The effort also included a mobile short code that allowed supporters to SMS in their support. Vietnam has 143 mobile subscribers for every 100 inhabitants, so learning how to best use mobiles to support tobacco control advocacy is very important for the success of future campaigns.

Mobile and social media efforts were particularly energised by a partnership with the Youth Union of Vietnam , a steadfast supporter of tobacco control policies in Vietnam, who sent out the word and provided ‘on the ground support’ in the form of hundreds of youth demonstrating at press conferences, attending campaign events, using social media and SMS to build supporters for the online campaign, and going business-to-business to provide smokefree signs and alert owners of their new obligations under the law. Already, almost 3000 supporters have joined the community online, and the 500 person Facebook community is growing fast, with a vibrant community – mostly high school youth – who are sharing photos and ideas about tobacco control on the page.

Hue City (Central Vietnam)

The Hue Municipal People’s Committee in collaboration with the Vietnam Public Health Association hosted WNTD and national No Tobacco Week. The launch event was held with about 300 participants from the health sector, youth union, women’s union, labour union and delegates from provincial people’s committee, city leaders, representatives from government departments and other organisations. ‘Smoke-free city’ signage on all the municipal public transportation was also organized, with 1600 public transportation vehicles including taxis, buses, passenger cars, pedicabs and tourist boats to be badged with the “smoke-free city” sign in coming weeks.

A workshop on ‘Evaluating the implementation of smoke-free program in Hue city’ was also held on May 27th. This was followed by outreach to public facilities to raise public awareness about the availability and implementation of smoke free policies in Vietnam.

Nha Trang City (Central Vietnam)

A bike parade was held on June 9th 2013 with the theme ‘Environment protection and smoke-free Nha Trang city’. Supported by Nha Trang Municipal People’s Committee in collaboration with Vietnam Public Health Association and Khanh Hoa Provincial Public Health Association, the event attracted 2000 participants including many young people, as well as Mr Takeshi Kasai, Representative of WHO in Vietnam.

There were several other events including 500 balloons dropping with the message ‘environment protection and Smoke-free Nha Trang city’; a no smoking flash mob; dancing and some entertainment shows.

Vietnam pic 2 Vietnam picture 1

TC blog homepage

TC Blog

Analysis and debate of the latest tobacco control research findings and policy developments. Visit site

Creative Comms logo

Latest from Tobacco Control

Latest from Tobacco Control