No matter what age category you fall into, everyone has at some point in their lives hailed a celebrity or artist as an icon in their own lives, but how dangerous can this be for our impressionable teens?


It could well be very dangerous, if the results of a study carried out in the UK are anything to go by.


A research team at the University of Nottingham has raised concern over the high levels of references to smoking and drinking alcohol in popular chart music videos, and the potential impact it could be having on our teens.


As part of the study, which was published this week in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, experts asked 2,068 11- to 18-year-olds, and 2,232 people aged 19 or older if they had seen the top 32 YouTube music videos between November 2013 and January 2014.


On average, 22% of the younger group had watched all of the videos, with the older category coming in at 6%. Overall, it was girls aged between 13 and 15 who were the most exposed to smoking and alcohol in these music videos.



Now here comes the alarming part: these 32 videos examined as part of the study were responsible for a whopping 1006 million ‘impressions’ or references to alcohol, and 203 million impressions to tobacco. The songs in question included Pitbull’s Timber, Beyoncé’s Drunk In Love, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines and Jason Derulo’s Trumpets.


It’s not surprising, then, to learn that the researchers are calling for increased regulation to be introduced in order to shield impressionable teens from the potentially damaging impact of viewing these videos on online platforms.


Sharing her concern, study author Dr Jo Cranwell said: "If these levels of exposure were typical, then in one year, music videos would be expected to deliver over four billion impressions of alcohol, and nearly one billion of tobacco, in Britain alone," research author Dr Jo Cranwell said.


Do you think more regulation is required on music video streaming sites?