Mining social media data for opinion polarities about electronic cigarettes

Hongying Dai, Jianqiang Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background There is an ongoing debate about harm and benefit of e-cigarettes, usage of which has rapidly increased in recent years. By separating non-commercial (organic) tweets from commercial tweets, we seek to evaluate the general public’s attitudes towards ecigarettes. Methods We collected tweets containing the words ‘e-cig’, ‘e-cigarette’, ‘e-liquid’, ‘vape’, ‘vaping’, ‘vapor’ and ‘vaporizer’ from 23 July to 14 October 2015 (n=757 167). A multilabel Naïve Bayes model was constructed to classify tweets into 5 polarities (against, support, neutral, commercial, irrelevant). We further analysed the prevalence of e-cigarette tweets, geographic variations in these tweets and the impact of socioeconomic factors on the public attitudes towards e-cigarettes. Results Opinions from organic tweets about e-cigarettes were mixed (against 17.7%, support 10.8% and neutral 19.4%). The organic—against tweets delivered strong educational information about the risks of e-cigarette use and advocated for the general public, especially youth, to stop vaping. However, the organic—against tweets were outnumbered by commercial tweets and organic—support tweets by a ratio of over 1 to 3. Higher prevalence of organic tweets was associated with states with higher education rates (r=0.60, p<0.0001), higher percentage of black and African-American population (r=0.34, p=0.01), and higher median household income (r=0.33, p=0.02). The support rates for e-cigarettes were associated with states with fewer persons under 18 years old (r=−0.33, p=0.02) and a higher percentage of female population (r=0.3, p=0.02). Conclusions The organic—against tweets raised public awareness of potential health risks and could aid in preventing non-smokers, adolescents and young adults from using e-cigarettes. Opinion polarities about ecigarettes from social networks could be highly influential to the general public, especially youth. Further educational campaigns should include measuring their effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-180
Number of pages6
JournalTobacco control
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2017

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Social Media
social media
Tobacco Products
electronics
socioeconomic factors
household income
health risk
young adult
social network
campaign
adolescent
human being
education
Electronic Cigarettes
Nebulizers and Vaporizers
Social Support
African Americans
Population
Young Adult
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Mining social media data for opinion polarities about electronic cigarettes. / Dai, Hongying; Hao, Jianqiang.

In: Tobacco control, Vol. 26, No. 2, 03.2017, p. 175-180.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Mining social media data for opinion polarities about electronic cigarettes",
abstract = "Background There is an ongoing debate about harm and benefit of e-cigarettes, usage of which has rapidly increased in recent years. By separating non-commercial (organic) tweets from commercial tweets, we seek to evaluate the general public’s attitudes towards ecigarettes. Methods We collected tweets containing the words ‘e-cig’, ‘e-cigarette’, ‘e-liquid’, ‘vape’, ‘vaping’, ‘vapor’ and ‘vaporizer’ from 23 July to 14 October 2015 (n=757 167). A multilabel Na{\"i}ve Bayes model was constructed to classify tweets into 5 polarities (against, support, neutral, commercial, irrelevant). We further analysed the prevalence of e-cigarette tweets, geographic variations in these tweets and the impact of socioeconomic factors on the public attitudes towards e-cigarettes. Results Opinions from organic tweets about e-cigarettes were mixed (against 17.7{\%}, support 10.8{\%} and neutral 19.4{\%}). The organic—against tweets delivered strong educational information about the risks of e-cigarette use and advocated for the general public, especially youth, to stop vaping. However, the organic—against tweets were outnumbered by commercial tweets and organic—support tweets by a ratio of over 1 to 3. Higher prevalence of organic tweets was associated with states with higher education rates (r=0.60, p<0.0001), higher percentage of black and African-American population (r=0.34, p=0.01), and higher median household income (r=0.33, p=0.02). The support rates for e-cigarettes were associated with states with fewer persons under 18 years old (r=−0.33, p=0.02) and a higher percentage of female population (r=0.3, p=0.02). Conclusions The organic—against tweets raised public awareness of potential health risks and could aid in preventing non-smokers, adolescents and young adults from using e-cigarettes. Opinion polarities about ecigarettes from social networks could be highly influential to the general public, especially youth. Further educational campaigns should include measuring their effectiveness.",
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AB - Background There is an ongoing debate about harm and benefit of e-cigarettes, usage of which has rapidly increased in recent years. By separating non-commercial (organic) tweets from commercial tweets, we seek to evaluate the general public’s attitudes towards ecigarettes. Methods We collected tweets containing the words ‘e-cig’, ‘e-cigarette’, ‘e-liquid’, ‘vape’, ‘vaping’, ‘vapor’ and ‘vaporizer’ from 23 July to 14 October 2015 (n=757 167). A multilabel Naïve Bayes model was constructed to classify tweets into 5 polarities (against, support, neutral, commercial, irrelevant). We further analysed the prevalence of e-cigarette tweets, geographic variations in these tweets and the impact of socioeconomic factors on the public attitudes towards e-cigarettes. Results Opinions from organic tweets about e-cigarettes were mixed (against 17.7%, support 10.8% and neutral 19.4%). The organic—against tweets delivered strong educational information about the risks of e-cigarette use and advocated for the general public, especially youth, to stop vaping. However, the organic—against tweets were outnumbered by commercial tweets and organic—support tweets by a ratio of over 1 to 3. Higher prevalence of organic tweets was associated with states with higher education rates (r=0.60, p<0.0001), higher percentage of black and African-American population (r=0.34, p=0.01), and higher median household income (r=0.33, p=0.02). The support rates for e-cigarettes were associated with states with fewer persons under 18 years old (r=−0.33, p=0.02) and a higher percentage of female population (r=0.3, p=0.02). Conclusions The organic—against tweets raised public awareness of potential health risks and could aid in preventing non-smokers, adolescents and young adults from using e-cigarettes. Opinion polarities about ecigarettes from social networks could be highly influential to the general public, especially youth. Further educational campaigns should include measuring their effectiveness.

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