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Mining data on usage of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) from YouTube videos
  1. My Hua,
  2. Henry Yip,
  3. Prue Talbot
  1. Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prue Talbot, Department of Cell Biology & Neuroscience, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA; talbot{at}


Objective The objective was to analyse and compare puff and exhalation duration for individuals using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) and conventional cigarettes in YouTube videos.

Methods Video data from YouTube videos were analysed to quantify puff duration and exhalation duration during use of conventional tobacco-containing cigarettes and ENDS. For ENDS, comparisons were also made between ‘advertisers’ and ‘non-advertisers’, genders, brands of ENDS, and models of ENDS within one brand.

Results Puff duration (mean =2.4 s) for conventional smokers in YouTube videos (N=9) agreed well with prior publications. Puff duration was significantly longer for ENDS users (mean =4.3 s) (N = 64) than for conventional cigarette users, and puff duration varied significantly among ENDS brands. For ENDS users, puff duration and exhalation duration were not significantly affected by ‘advertiser’ status, gender or variation in models within a brand. Men outnumbered women by about 5:1, and most users were between 19 and 35 years of age.

Conclusions YouTube videos provide a valuable resource for studying ENDS usage. Longer puff duration may help ENDS users compensate for the apparently poor delivery of nicotine from ENDS. As with conventional cigarette smoking, ENDS users showed a large variation in puff duration (range =1.9–8.3 s). ENDS puff duration should be considered when designing laboratory and clinical trials and in developing a standard protocol for evaluating ENDS performance.

  • Electronic cigarettes
  • electronic nicotine delivery device
  • ENDS
  • nicotine
  • inhalation
  • smoking
  • toxicology
  • smokeless tobacco products
  • nicotine reduction in cigarettes
  • environmental tobacco smoke
  • harm reduction

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  • Funding This work was supported by Tobacco-Related Research Program of California (grant numbers 18XT-0167 and 20XT-0118) and the UCR Academic Senate.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This project was exempted from ethics committee approval on our campus as it involved use of YouTube videos that are part of the public domain.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement All data will be provided by request to the senior author.