Regulating the Digital Environment to Protect Users from Harmful Commodity Marketing




digital regulation, harmful commodities, digital marketing, alcohol, vaping, unhealthy food


Although the creators of the world wide web never intended it to be regulated by state intervention, the rapid evolution of the online environment has necessitated regulation of certain aspects of the digital ecosystem. Harmful commodity marketing (e.g., alcohol, vaping and unhealthy food and beverage product marketing) on social media and in digital spaces has been linked to adverse health outcomes and there have been calls for its regulation. In this commentary we explain why this is important and consider how such regulation could be achieved.


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Author Biographies

Fiona Sing, University of Auckland

Fiona Sing is a research fellow in the University of Auckland’s School of Population Health.

Antonia Lyons, University of Auckland

Antonia Lyons is the Hugh Green Foundation Chair in Addiction Research in the School of Population Health and director of the Centre for Addiction Research at the University of Auckland.