from the University of Illinois have found that E-cigarettes are advertised on
Twitter on a routine basis, and tweets often have links to commercial websites
promoting e-cigarette use.
is this whole wild west of social media platforms - Facebook, Twitter and
Instagram - and the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has no way to track
what is happening in those platforms," according to a lead study author Jidong
Huang from the University of Illinois.
The researchers compiled tweets and
metadata pertaining to e-cigarettes over a two-month period in 2012. Using an
innovative statistical methodology and carefully chosen keywords, the research
team seized more than 70,000 e-cigarette-related tweets.
the 70,000 tweets collected, approximately 90 percent of the tweets were
commercial and only 10 percent represented individual consumer opinions.
the commercial tweets, nearly 94 percent had linked to websites promoting
kids or youth search for 'vaping pen' or 'e-cig' on Twitter, they will get
links to commercial sites where they can purchase these items," Huang
to Facebook and a few other platforms, which provide privacy settings,
information on Twitter can be accessed by anyone.
"We know very little about what these
products are made of and what kind of chemicals are in the e-juice," Huang
findings of the study are likely to influence future FDA regulations on
advertising of e-cigarettes and their related products.
findings were published in the journal Tobacco Control.