Background The rise of the popular e-cigarette, JUUL, has been partly attributed to various teen-friendly e-liquid flavours offered. However, the possible health risks associated with each e-liquid flavour still remain unclear. This research focuses on the possible associations between JUUL flavours and health symptoms using social media data from Reddit.
Methods Keyword filtering was used to obtain 5,746 JUUL flavour-related posts and 7927 health symptom-related posts from June 2015 to April 2019 from Reddit. Posts from September 2016 to April 2019 were used to conduct temporal analysis for nine health symptom categories and the 8 JUUL flavours. Finally, associations between the JUUL flavours and health symptom categories were examined on the user level using generalised estimating equation models.
Results According to our temporal analysis, Mango and Mint were the most discussed JUUL flavours on Reddit. Respiratory and throat symptoms were the most discussed health issues together with JUUL on Reddit over time. Respiratory symptoms had potential associations with the Mango, Mint and Fruit JUUL flavours. Digestive symptoms had a potential association with the Crème flavour, psychological symptoms had a potential association with the Cucumber flavour, and cardiovascular symptoms had a potential association with the tobacco flavours.
Conclusions Mango and Mint were the two most mentioned JUUL flavours on Reddit. Certain JUUL flavours were more likely to be mentioned together with certain categories of health symptoms by the same Reddit users. Our findings could prompt further medical research into the health symptoms associated with different e-liquid flavours.
- global health
- public opinion
Data availability statement
Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available. The data was obtained from the pushshift.io Reddit comments directory, which contains Reddit posts and comments from December 2005 to April 2019.
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Contributors JL, ZX, DL: conceived and designed the study. JL, LC, XL: analysed the data. JL wrote the manuscript. JY, ZX and DL: assisted with interpretation of analyses and edited the manuscript.
Funding Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products under Award Number U54CA228110. DL’s time is supported in part by the University of Rochester CTSA award number UL1 TR002001 from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health.
Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the FDA.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.