A Longitudinal Analysis of Electronic Cigarette Forum Participation
National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number P50DA036105 and the Center for Tobacco Products of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) Internet forums are social networking websites that allow members around the world to share information and personal experiences about e-cigarettes. However, little is known about their popularity and reach. This longitudinal study investigated indicators of participation (membership, number of discussion boards, and number of message posts) in 77 e-cigarette forums from February 2016 to January 2017. Autoregressive time-series analyses were used to assess monthly changes in participation among small ( < 1000 members), medium (1000-5000 members), and large ( > 5000 members) forums that were active at all 12 observation time points. Paired sample t-tests were conducted to compare changes in participation before and after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the regulation of e-cigarettes. Analyses revealed significant and consistent increases in forum membership (R2s > 0.72; ps < 0.01), discussion boards (R2s > 0.97; ps < 0.001), and message posts (R2s > 0.96; ps < 0.001) across all forum sizes during the 12-month period. No differences were found in participation indicators pre- and post-regulation announcement. E-cigarette forums provide real-time information on the levels of participation over time and therefore may be an important platform to study interactions among consumers and how these interactions shape e-cigarette knowledge, attitudes and use behaviors.
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Maloney, S. F., Soule, E. K., Palafox, S., McFadden, K., Guy, M. C., Eissenberg, T., & Fagan, P. (2018). A longitudinal analysis of electronic cigarette forum participation. Addictive behaviors.