Table 1

Metrics collected about social media influencers (n=55) who posted promotional e-cigarette content on Instagram in 2020

Variable (metric)Description/operationalization
Provided by Meltwater
UsernameInstagram username of an influencer who posted e-cigarette-related contact in 2020 and used hashtags and keywords described in Section 2.1
GenderMale/female (based on Instagram images featuring an influencer in the collected dataset)
GeolocationA location (country) (a) directly identified in an influencer’s Instagram profile or captions to posts; or (b) inferred from a phone number or a flag emblem provided in the profile or a language used in captions/comments
Number of followersNumber of users who follow an influencer on Instagram
Number of followed usersNumber of users followed by an influencer on Instagram
Number of followers aged 13–17 years oldInformation about followers’ age range is a standard Instagram feature made visible by those influencers who provided access to their demographic data to Meltwater
Engagement rateSix-month average engagement rate per post is a sum of the number of ‘likes’ and the number of comments divided by the number of followers (range: 1–25)
Collected by the authors and coders
Profile self-identificationExample: blogger, artist, public figure
Frequency of posting of e-cigarette contentExample: once a month, weekly, daily posting of e-cigarette-related content in 2020
Total number of postsTotal number of posts an influencer had on any topic in 2020
Number of e-cigarette-related postsNumber of e-cigarette-related posts an influencer had in 2020
E-cigarette brand nameE-cigarette brand names disclosed in captions to an influencer’s posts on Instagram