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J Med Internet Res. 2019 Jul 19;21(7):e14398. doi: 10.2196/14398.

Characterizing Swisher Little Cigar-Related Posts on Twitter in 2018: Text Analysis.

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Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles, CA, United States.
Department of Computer Science, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, United States.



Little cigars are growing in popularity in the United States, and Swisher is the market leader. The contexts and experiences associated with the use of Swisher-related products is understudied, but such information is available via publicly available posts on Twitter.


This study aimed to analyze Twitter posts to characterize Twitter users' recent experiences with Swisher-related products.


Twitter posts containing the term "swisher" were analyzed from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2018. Text classifiers were used to identify topics in posts (n=81,333).


The most prevalent topic was Person Tagging (mentioning a Twitter account in a post; 32.77%), followed by Flavors (eg, Grape and Strawberry; 20.96%) and Swisher use (eg, smoke swisher; 17.44%). Additional topics included Cannabis use (eg, blunt, roll, and gut swisher; 6.26%), Appeal (eg, like Swisher; 5.92%), Dislike (eg, posts that showed dissatisfaction with Swisher products; 3.53%), Purchases (eg, buy swisher; 1.90%), and Cigar comparison (eg, mentions of other cigar products including White-owl and Backwoods; 1.64%).


This paper describes common contexts and experiences associated with the use of Swisher little cigars from the population posting on Twitter in 2018. These online messages may have offline consequences for tobacco-related behaviors, indicating the need for countering from public health officials. Findings should inform us about targets for surveillance, policy, and interventions addressing Swisher little cigars as well as communication planning and tobacco product counter messaging on Twitter.


Swisher; Twitter; cigarillo; little cigar; social media; tobacco

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