Insights on electronic cigarette products from reviews on the Reddit forum
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Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, United States
Jon-Patrick Allem   

Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, 2001 N. Soto Street, 3rd Floor Mail, Los Angeles, CA 90032, United States
Publish date: 2019-09-12
Submission date: 2019-06-22
Final revision date: 2019-08-05
Acceptance date: 2019-08-06
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(September):29
E-cigarette devices and their component parts are continuously evolving. Little is known about the product design features that may increase the appeal of e-cigarette use, ultimately affecting continuation of use. Product reviews have been described as useful in helping to forecast the popularity of products, and online reviews have become an important channel of product information. This study analyzed e-cigarette product reviews to attempt to arrive at a greater understanding of the features of e-cigarette products that may make them appealing to current users.

Data included 248 product reviews found on a popular e-cigarette-related discussion site of Reddit from 10 April 2017 to 12 November 2018. For this study, we examined the sub-sections relating to the positive features (PFs) and negative features (NFs) of the product, found in each review. Common themes were identified and coded.

There were 2929 comments on PFs (average 12 per product), and 1003 on NFs (average 4 per product). Commonly found in the reviews were the ten themes: build quality, color, tip model, battery quality, price, screw quality, power mode performance, coil performance, temperature control performance, and tank quality.

Findings suggest e-cigarette users expect well-made devices and have developed ways to discriminate between products that perform well from those that do not. Findings suggest that the control of price and design features of e-cigarette products (e.g. color, size, voltage, wattage, coils) warrants consideration for future research and policies addressing e-cigarette use.

The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
Research reported in this publication was supported by Grant # U54 CA180905 from the National Cancer Institute and the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or FDA.
J-P.A. and L.D. conceived the study and analyzed the data. J-P.A. drafted the initial manuscript. T.C., J.U. and L.D. revised the manuscript for intellectual content. T.C. and J.U. received funding for the study. All the authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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