E-Cigarette Marketing Web Archive: Capturing Trends in Advertising

The UCSF Industry Documents Library (IDL) is a division of the UCSF Archives.

The ‘UCSF E-Cigarette Web Archive’ is a resource created to assist researchers and the public in understanding the history of e-cigarette marketing on the Internet.

Home page of the E-cigarette marketing web archive

The UCSF Industry Documents Library primarily collects internal documents from industries and corporations that attempt to influence policy and regulations meant to protect public health.  In addition to our IDL holdings in tobacco, drug, and chemical industries, we capture and preserve websites and online multimedia resources that further demonstrate the actions of these large industries.  The rise of vaping and e-cigarette use over the last 10 years has undone some of the gains in tobacco control and youth smoking prevention won by the public health community.  The marketing tactics and messaging of the e-cigarette companies mirror that of the tobacco industry 20 years ago and the IDL is attempting to capture and preserve these campaigns for future research and analysis.

The UCSF E-Cigarette Marketing Web Archive utilizes the Archive-It service to crawl and preserve designated websites at selected points in time. The preserved sites range from major e-cigarette company websites, e-cigarette trade associations and advocacy groups, to forums and social media such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Preserving sites over a number of years allows researchers to see trends in advertising campaigns and marketing.  For instance, in 2014, Blu was urging users to Take Back your Freedom but in 2017, authenticity was the key with e-cigarettes helping you “Be Who you Truly Are”.

These web archives provide an historical perspective on the evolution of e-cigarette marketing and continued captures will hopefully preserve the industry’s shifts in language, imagery and tactics before and after any possible regulatory actions by jurisdictions.


UC 150th Anniversary Highlight: Jay Levy

This is a guest post by Edith Martinez, UCSF Archives Volunteer.

The University of California is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year. Over the 150 years, the UC campuses have accomplished great things that have changed California and the world for the better. To commemorate the anniversary, a 150 year timeline has been created that features the history and accomplishments of the UC and its students, faculty, and staff.

One of the accomplishments that stood out to me was that of UCSF’s Jay Levy. Jay Levy, virologist and immunologist, became the third independent discoverer of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. Levy received a request for advice about a patient with rare skin cancer lesions which led him to research the virus. His work led to better treatments for the disease and he has dedicated his career to further understanding HIV/AIDS.

Jay Levy

UCSF remains at the center of HIV/AIDS research and patient care. As a volunteer with the UCSF Archives, I am working on the NHPRC-funded grant, Evolution of San Francisco’s Response to a Public Health Crisis: Providing Access to New AIDS History Collections, an expansion of the AIDS History Project. I have learned the important role that UCSF has played in research and treatment and will continue to play in finding the cure for AIDS.