From internet to reality: Studying population interest in tobacco and related terms and topics using Google Trends
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European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Youth Group, Brussels, Belgium
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
University of Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
Turpanjian College of Health Sciences, American University of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia
Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia
Paediatric Resident Medical University of Tirana, Tirana, Albania
Croatian Institute of Public Health, Zagreb, Croatia
European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention, Brussels, Belgium
Publication date: 2023-10-08
Corresponding author
Darius Lotrean   

European Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention Youth Group, Brussels, Belgium
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2023;9(Supplement 2):A106
Substantiating data shows a growing inclination among the population to utilise the internet as a principal resource for acquiring information and knowledge pertaining to diverse health behaviours and conditions, including smoking and tobacco use. In this regard, the utilisation of Google Trends as a tool within the concept of infodemiology allows health researchers to explore and use non-clinical data, such as simple internet searches, to evaluate and assess the population’s interest in health-related issues, with particular emphasis on Google platforms. This study aims to analyse the interest of the population of: Romania, Italy, Croatia, Armenia, Albania, Spain and Serbia using the relative search volume (RSV) of Google Trends.

Material and Methods:
The RSV was calculated and extracted from Google Trends for the terms: IQOS, Elfbar and Vape and for the topics: Camel (Cigarette brand), Marlboro (Cigarette brand), Cancer, Smoking, Electronic Cigarette, Cigarette and Smoking Cessation. Using SPSS 26 descriptive statistics and bivariate correlations were calculated.

Descriptive statistics showed similarities between mean RSV(mRSV) among these countries. “IQOS” had the highest mRSV compared to other terms among all countries except Spain, where “Vape” had the highest mRSV. The lowest mRSV across all countries presented the term “Elfbar”. The topic “Cancer” had highest mRSV in Albania, Croatia and Serbia, while Italy and Spain presented the lowest mRSV. “Smoking” had the highest RSV in Romania and Spain. Moreover, “Smoking cessation” had the lowest RSV in Armenia and Albania. “Marlboro” had the highest mRSV in Italy and the lowest mRSV in Romania. “Camel” in Serbia and Croatia showed the lowest mRSV in comparison to other countries.

Using Google Trends, we examined the popularity of terms and topics across 7 European nations. Our study unveiled both commonalities and disparities, requiring deeper investigations into underlying determinants of these similarities and differences.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
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