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Twitter Posts Reveal Use of JUUL Vaporizer by Minors at School

FRIDAY, June 29, 2018 -- Data from social media capture early public experiences with the JUUL vaporizer, a nicotine delivery device that is the size and shape of a thumb drive, according to a study published in the June 26 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Jon-Patrick Allem, Ph.D., from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues obtained Twitter posts containing the term "JUUL" for April 1 to Dec. 14, 2017. They used text classifiers to identify topics in the 81,689 posts.

The researchers found that the most prevalent topics were "person tagging," "pods" (mentions of JUUL's refill cartridge), and "buying" at 20.48, 14.72, and 10.49 percent, respectively. Overall, 3.66 percent of posts included the topic "school"; these were posts indicative of using JUUL or seeing someone use JUUL while at elementary, middle, or high school. "Quit smoking" was a rare topic, at 0.29 percent of posts.

"Data from social media may be used to extend the surveillance of newly introduced vaping products. Findings suggest Twitter users are bonding around, and inquiring about, JUUL on social media," the authors write. "Despite JUUL's branding as a smoking alternative, very few Twitter users mentioned smoking cessation with JUUL."

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Posted: June 2018