While both young women and men appear to use the internet in equal amounts, current data suggest there are gender-related factors in online activities among adolescents (Pujazon-Zasik & Park, 2010) and efforts to develop gender-specific
interventions are warranted (Struik et al., 2012). Girls aged 17–19 years of age who participated in a focus group study recommended that tobacco control messages on social networking sites targeting girls this website reinforce positive health behaviours associated with being smoke-free, avoid stereotypes and sexualized images, and involve young women in the development to ensure age-specific content (Struik et al., 2012). Researchers have begun to gather youth perspectives on messages about smoking and breast
cancer. Bottorff et al. (2014) reported a high level of interest in information about tobacco exposure and breast cancer, a finding that stands in direct contrast to tendencies among youth to discount the health effects associated with tobacco use. In interpreting these findings, it was suggested that breast cancer consumerism and public awareness campaigns along with physical changes during puberty and gender identity construction associated with transition into womanhood serve to reinforce the salience of the information about breast cancer risk and smoking among young women. Interestingly, because young women viewed the link between breast cancer and smoking as more than an individual concern, they recommended that health messages Akt inhibitor be developed to include Calpain the notion of protecting others. In addition, they expressed interest in learning more about this risk factor and were adamant that they be provided with “the facts. Despite the need for early age prevention
programmes, there have been few efforts to develop detailed information about smoking and breast cancer for young women. Researchers examining breast cancer messages targeting young women have been critical of the use of sexualized images and messages, and emphasized the value of involving young women in guiding the development of age appropriate and gender-sensitive breast cancer messages in the future (Haines et al., 2010). The benefit of social media is that it can be easily customized to the needs and preferences of target audiences and there is evidence that tailored messaging encourages users to engage with interventions (Webb, Rodriguez-Esquivel, & Baker, 2010). In our previous research, we set out to develop tailored messages for online use to increase adolescent girls’ and boys’ awareness of the breast cancer risk associated with smoking and second-hand smoke exposure. We began by holding eight focus groups with 43 youth aged 12–17 (18 girls; 20 youth of Aboriginal descent originating in Canada) to generate ideas for age-appropriate and gender-sensitive messages Bottorff et al.