By March 16, 2016 Read More →

Search Queries Reflect Rising E-Cigarette Popularity

Electronic cigarettes, or “e-cigarettes,” have rapidly become more popular in recent years. In this study, researchers tracked Internet searches related to e-cigarettes and vaping to gain insights about the public’s perception and interest in electronic nicotine delivery systems.

The study follows up on research published in 2011, which showed a substantial increase in search queries related to e-cigarettes from 2008-2010.

In the new study, the research team analyzed Google Trends data for online searches originating in the United States from 2009-2015. They focused on keywords such as e-cigarette, e-cig, vaping, vapers, as well as contextual clues to indicate whether the searcher was seeking information about buying e-cigarettes, investigating their health risks or looking for information about their potential as an aid to quit smoking.


Key Findings

  • E-cigarette related online searches are fast increasing in the United States, with nearly 8.5 million searches during 2014 alone. That was up 450 percent from searches about e-cigarettes reported previously for 2010.
  • There has been a shift in the popularity of different terms to describe e-cigarette use. For example, searches for terms related to “e-cigarettes” have declined slightly, while searches for terms related to “vaping” have increased substantially.
  • More searchers are seeking information about buying e-cigarettes, and fewer searchers are seeking information related to health concerns or smoking cessation.

The rapid rise in Internet searches for information related to e-cigarettes reflects the broader trend of e-cigarettes’ rising popularity among the public. Search query data provides valuable insights about how these products are perceived; for example, the increasing use of terms related to “vaping” may suggest a distancing from the cultural baggage associated with the term “cigarette.” Additionally, trends in contextual words suggests that far more people are searching for information about buying e-cigarettes than about health or smoking cessation.

Read the full press release about the study.

Citation: Ayers JW, Althouse BM, Allem JP, Leas EC, Dredze M, Williams RS. Revisiting the Rise of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Using Search Query Surveillance. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. [E-pub ahead of print] February 10, 2016.

Posted in: E-cigarettes

Comments are closed.