The National Institutes of Health is spending roughly $200,000 on a study of tweets about electronic cigarettes.
The project, “Toward Fine-Grained E-Cigarette Surveillance on Social Media,” will analyze hashtags and “follower-friend connections” of people talking about e-cigarettes online.
Operating on the premise that the popular smoking cessation products are harmful, researchers say it is necessary to document what is being said on Twitter and Reddit for one year.
“Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have emerged as the main smoke-free alternative to regular cigarettes over the past few years,” according to the grant for the project. “While the ongoing healthy scientiﬁc debate about their long term health effects and their suitability for smoking cessation are important, in this project, we propose computational approaches toward ﬁne-grained surveillance of speciﬁc themes, factors inﬂuencing message popularity, and demographic variations.”
Read more at The Washington Free Beacon.