Geographic variations in electronic cigarette advertisements on Twitter in the United States

Hongying Dai, Michael J. Deem, Jianqiang Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Studies have identified a proliferation of e-cigarette advertisements on Twitter. We investigate whether the prevalence of e-cigarette related advertising is associated with state tobacco regulations after taking socio-economic characteristics into account. Methods: We collected e-cigarette related tweets from July 23 to October 14, 2015 (n = 757,167) on Twitter. State regulations and smoking prevalence were provided by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids program. The socio-economic data were provided by the American Community Survey. Results: The number of commercial tweets was 319,041/day with a high potential reach (830,495,700/day). The prevalence of commercial tweets varied significantly by US state. The higher prevalence of e-cigarette advertising was associated with states with better tobacco control impact (r = 0.54, p < 0.0001) and lower youth smoking prevalence (r = −0.39, p = 0.005). In the multivariate analysis, state tobacco control impact is significantly associated with the prevalence of commercial tweets (β = 0.03 ± 0.01, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Policies at both the federal and state levels are needed to regulate the content of commercial tweets and mitigate the negative effect of social media advertisements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)479-487
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Commercial
  • E-cigarette
  • Prevalence
  • Socio-economic factors
  • State regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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