Special Issue "The Role of Technology, Cyberpsychology, Images and Social Media in Cigarettes and Tobacco Habits"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Digital Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Sebastiano Battiato
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Catania, Viale A. Doria, 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: computer vision; multimedia; image processing; machine learning; digital forensics
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Pasquale Caponnetto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Center of Excellence for the acceleration of HArm Reduction (CoEHAR), University of Catania, 95124 Catania, Italy
Interests: clinical psychology; health psychology; mental health; addiction; cyberpsychology; harm reduction; cognition; psychotherapy; cognitive remediation; psychological assessment; recovery
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandro Ortis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: computer vision; multimedia; image processing; machine learning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The World Health Organization estimates that tobacco causes the death of more than 8 million people a year around the world. About 85% of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use, while around 15% are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke. All forms and levels of exposure of tobacco are harmful. Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use worldwide. Other tobacco products include waterpipe tobacco, various smokeless tobacco products, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, bidis, and kreteks. Advertising of tobacco products increases consumption in various ways, especially by encouraging young adults to start smoking. It also encourages smokers to increase their consumption, reduces their motivation to quit, urges former smokers to resume, and creates a climate in which tobacco consumption is considered acceptable. At the same time, the effectiveness of health warnings is weakened.

The last decade has observed a rapid growth and spread of several portable devices, which have taken a central role in all our daily activities. In particular, smartphone technology has changed the way people perform almost all their daily activities, as digital technology has assumed a pervasive dimension. This has allowed new advertising strategies and campaigns which are now able to reach large audience of well-targeted potential consumers. Visual sentiment analysis is the research field that aims to understand how images affect people, in terms of engagement and sentiment polarity (i.e., positive/negative reaction). These works are influenced by studies from psychology, art theory, and computer vision. Although this field is rather new, a broad range of techniques have been developed for various data sources and problems, resulting in a large body of research [1].

In the era of social networks, spreading images through social media platforms is the new way by which companies rapidly reach large and targeted audiences. In particular, recent long-term research studies revealed that the largest private tobacco companies are actively using social media marketing methods to recruit young people [2]. This provides strong motivations for research on this field and related tasks, offering several challenging research problems.

This Special Issue will focus on the role that new technologies have in tobacco products advertising, promotion, warnings, and risk perception, with a focus on the exploitation of images and social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook). Contributions that focus on the potential of technology, cyberpsychology, images, and social media as media to encourage and discourage tobacco use are invited.

This special issue seeks to bring together contributions from researchers and practitioners from multiple fields such as psychology, marketing, and technology. We solicit high-quality original research papers on topics including, but not limited to:

• Impact of images in tobacco promotion;
• The impact of pictures on tobacco warnings and risk perception;
• Images in smoking cessation and behavior changes;
• Social media and tobacco usage promotion/discouragement;
• Influencers and social media marketing of tobacco products;
• Branded events and social media for tobacco promotion;
• Cyberpsychology and smoking behavior.

[1] Ortis, A.; Farinella, G.M.; Battiato, S. Survey on visual sentiment analysis. IET Image Process. 2020, 14, 1440–1456.
[2] Kozinets, R.V.; Gambetti, R.; Suarez, M.; Dewhirst, T.; Gretzel, U.; Renzulli, C. Activationism: How tobacco marketers hacked global youth culture. In Proceedings of the Consumer Culture Theory Conference, Consumer Culture Theory Consortium, Montreal, Canada, 17–20 July 2019; pp. 1–7.

Disclaimer: We will not accept research funded in part or full by any tobacco companies in this Special Issue. For more details, please check: https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/1660-4601/15/12/2831/htm.

Prof. Dr. Sebastiano Battiato
Dr. Pasquale Caponnetto
Dr. Alessandro Ortis
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • social media advertising
  • smoking
  • tobacco industry
  • image sentiment analysis
  • cyberpsychology

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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