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Open AccessArticle

Contextualising the 2019 E-Cigarette Health Scare: Insights from Twitter

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Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, 5 Barrack Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4SE, UK
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Health Promotion in Rural Areas Research Group, Gerència Territorial de la Catalunya Central, Institut Català de la Salut, 08272 Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain
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Servei d’Atenció Primària d’Osona, Gerència Territorial de la Catalunya Central, Institut Català de la Salut, 08500 Vic, Spain
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Unitat de Suport a la Recerca de la Catalunya Central, Fundació Institut Universitari per a la recerca a l’Atenció Primària de Salut Jordi Gol i Gurina, 08272 Sant Fruitós de Bages, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072236 (registering DOI)
Received: 19 February 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 26 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Public Health: Opportunities and Challenges)
A health scare can be described as a campaign that attempts to alert the public of a particular substance or activity that can lead to a negative effect on health. A recent health scare to emerge relates to the health hazards associated with the use of e-cigarettes, which has caused widespread debate, which peaked towards the end of 2019. Health scares need to be studied in the context in which they occur, and one method of studying them is through social media. This paper identifies two key topics of discussion on Twitter, which consisted of pro-vaping and anti-vaping views. The paper then identifies influential users, frequently occurring words, hashtags, and websites related to this time period in order to gain insight into e-cigarette perceptions. The paper then reviews current scientific evidence and develops a flowchart for the general public, which can be used to for public reassurance and guidance.
Keywords: electronic nicotine delivery systems; social media; smoking; twitter electronic nicotine delivery systems; social media; smoking; twitter
MDPI and ACS Style

Ahmed, W.; Marin-Gomez, X.; Vidal-Alaball, J. Contextualising the 2019 E-Cigarette Health Scare: Insights from Twitter. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2236.

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