YouTube music videos ‘could pose health risk’ to teens, especially 13- to 15-year-old girls who have been heavily influenced to smoke by music videos, according to Nottingham researchers.

A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health reveals that UK teens are heavily exposed to alcohol and tobacco in images and lyrics in YouTube music videos.

Researchers at the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at The University of Nottingham conducted a study involving 2,068 teens aged 11-18, and 2,232 adults from the age of 19 onwards.

The adults and teens analysed 32 top music videos to see how many references to alcohol and tobacco they noticed.


  • Levels of individual exposure were almost four times higher among teens than adults,  the figures indicated.
  • Teens aged 13 to 15 received an average of 11.48 tobacco impressions, while those aged 16 to 18 received an average of 10.5. This compares with 2.85 for adults.
  • Exposure was around 65% higher among girls, with the highest numbers of tobacco impressions delivered to 13-15 year old.