Background This study analysed posts to Instagram related to KandyPens, an open-system pod mod e-cigarette company, marketing its products as aromatherapy devices. The objective was to determine themes, corresponding user profiles and references to types of e-liquid solutions used with KandyPens.
Methods Data consisted of publicly available posts to Instagram with the hashtag ‘#kandypens’ collected from 8 June to 8 August 2018 (n=1775). Identified themes included: product appearance (eg, highlighting design features including colour of device), user experience (eg, vape tricks), flavours (eg, strawberry) and promotions (eg, $10 off). The type of e-liquid solutions (nicotine, aromatherapy and cannabis) used with KandyPens were also recorded. Instagram profiles were categorised into: vaping enthusiast/advocates, influencers, KandyPens’ official Instagram account, vape vendors and average Instagram users.
Results User experience (28.90%) and product appearance (21.80%) were predominant themes followed by promotions (10.08%), and flavours (1.01%). About 32.43 % of posts referenced cannabis-related solutions, 2.98 % of the posts mentioned nicotine-related solutions and 0.11 % of the posts mentioned aromatherapy. Average Instagram users (24.89%) posted the majority of posts followed by vape vendors (20.72%), KandyPens’ official account (17.96%), vaping enthusiasts/advocates (10.75%) and influencers (0.45%).
Conclusion KandyPens markets its products as aromatherapy devices; however, Instagram posts related to these products rarely mentioned their purported purpose. Future research should consider product design, user experience and the co-use of nicotine and cannabis with KandyPens to assess implications related to product appeal and abuse liability.
- electronic nicotine delivery devices
- co-substance use
- advertising and promotion
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Contributors J-PA received funding for the study. J-PA and AM conceived of the study and oversaw content analysis procedures. AM analysed all study results and drafted the initial manuscript. J-PA, TBC, JBU and MK revised the manuscript for important intellectual content. All authors have approved the final manuscript.
Funding This project was partially supported by funds provided by The Regents of the University of California, Research Grants Program Office, Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program, Grant Number No. 28KT-0003.
Disclaimer The opinions, findings and conclusions herein are those of the authors and not necessarily represent those of The Regents of the University of California or any of its programmes.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.