JUUL the heartbreaker: Twitter analysis of cardiovascular health perceptions of vaping

Traci Hong, Jiaxi Wu, Derry Wijaya, Ziming Xuan, Jessica L. Fetterman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction: The public most frequently associates tobacco use solely with pulmonary health risks, despite heart disease being the leading cause of death in smokers. The health perceptions of e-cigarettes, especially cardiovascular health, have not been well studied. We aimed to evaluate the prevalence and health perceptions of tweets related to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and brain health - three organ systems for which tobacco use is a major disease risk factor. Methods: We examined the cardiovascular, pulmonary, and brain health perceptions of vaping and JUUL on Twitter, followed by a content analysis of tweets pertaining to the cardiovascular risks. A Twitter firehose API scraped about 6.2 million publicly available tweets from 2015.2019 that contained vaping-related terms, and a separate dataset of about 1.9 million tweets that contained the term JUUL. A quantitative content analysis (n=2145) of tweets was subsequently conducted to assess the health perceptions of vaping and JUUL. Two trained coders independently assessed the posts and Twitter profiles to determine age (<18 or ≥18 years), sex, race, sentiment towards JUUL, and vaping-related topics. Results: The majority of tweets containing vaping or JUUL-related terms did not also contain cardiovascular, pulmonary, or brain health terms (97.99% and 96.67%, respectively). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that youth (<18 years), females, non-White individuals, mention of a flavor, and mention of cardiovascular health harm words were associated with more positive sentiments towards JUUL. Pearson's chi-squared analyses indicated that youth were more likely to mention a JUUL flavor. Females and youth were more likely to reference cardiovascular terms with humor. Conclusions: The cardiovascular health risks of vaping are not fully recognized by the public. Vulnerable populations such as youth and females reference JUUL with cardiovascular-related words that downplay the severity of tobacco as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalTobacco Induced Diseases
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • E-cigarettes
  • Electronic cigarettes
  • Health perceptions
  • JUUL
  • Twitter

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