Could it be that West Hollywood residents have an exceptional aversion to tobacco smoke? Or are we trying to imbibe cannabis in public, without getting busted? Or are we just unable to stop tweeting?
The answers to those questions aren’t clear. But a ranking by VaporFi lists West Hollywood as third in the nation when it comes to tweeting about vaping, which is inhaling an aerosol that may contain nicotine or cannabis from a handheld electronic device that often looks like a cigarette. VaporFi is an online vendor of vaping equipment and supplies whose products also are sold in stores.
VaporFi tracked tweets in 2015, 2016 and through March of this year that mentioned vaping or words related to it, reasoning that there was no other easy way to calculate vape users. “Twitter is unique among social media platforms in that it has a nearly equal number of male and female users, as well as urban, suburban, and rural users,” says a report on its study. “In this age of social media, surges of tweets can reveal important changes in our collective attitudes and preferences.”
Winchester, Nev., a Las Vegas suburb with a population of 27,987, ranked No. 1, with 114.4 vape tweets per hundred thousand residents during the study period. VaporFi notes, however, that the Vape Summit trade show in 2015, may have had some impact on that number.
Miami Beach, Fla., with a population of 87,779, ranked No. 2 with 62.6 tweets per hundred thousand residents. West Hollywood, whose 2010 population was 34,399, had 56.7 tweets per hundred thousand.
“Overall, California cities took 12 of the top 25 spots on our list of top cities,” says the VaporFi report. “Nevada and Florida each had three cities on the list.”
Nearby cities on VaporFi’s Top 25 list include Beverly Hills, ranked No. 7 with 28.9 tweets per hundred thousand people, Culver City, ranked No. 9, with 25.4 tweets and Santa Monica, ranked No. 12 with 23.8 tweets.
While it is growing in popularity, vaping remains somewhat controversial. A group of 11 U.S. Senators has petitioned the federal Food and Drug Administration to proceed with enforcing a regulation enacted in 2016 that would subject e-cigarettes and other vaping products to the same regulation applied to tobacco products. Laguna Beach in June banned vaping on the beach and in public places in the city. A bill is working its way through the California legislature that would prohibit smoking, including with vapes, at all state beaches and public parks, although local parks directors could establish smoking zones.