Social media to help study e-cigarette habits


ISLAMABAD: In an attempt to study the consumer habits and health effects of e-cigarette, especially among teenagers, researchers from University of Arizona and Mayo Clinic have turned to social media.

“Using a $2.7 million, five-year grant from the US National Institutes of Health, the (researchers) team will collect data from social media and several e-cigarette forums among other websites,” said Daniel Zeng, co-principalinvestigator at University of Arizona.

“We just want to observe what is going on, especially among young people,” Zeng said. The data will be used to create a real-time, web-based information management system. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can use this data to formulate policy decisions, Science Daily reported.

The research will include information on public perceptions of e- cigarettes, typical consumers, public vendors, social media marketing tactics and government interests.