Information seeking regarding tobacco and lung cancer: Effects of seasonality

Zhu Zhang, Xiaolong Zheng, Dajun Zeng, Scott J. Leischow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper conducted one of the first comprehensive international Internet analyses of seasonal patterns in information seeking concerning tobacco and lung cancer. Search query data for the terms "tobacco" and "lung cancer" from January 2004 to January 2014 was collected from Google Trends. The relevant countries included the USA, Canada, the UK, Australia, and China. Two statistical approaches including periodogram and cross-correlation were applied to analyze seasonal patterns in the collected search trends and their associations. For these countries except China, four out of six cross-correlations of seasonal components of the search trends regarding tobacco were above 0.600. For these English-speaking countries, similar patterns existed in the data concerning lung cancer, and all cross-correlations between seasonal components of the search trends regarding tobacco and that regarding lung cancer were also above 0.700. Seasonal patterns widely exist in information seeking concerning tobacco and lung cancer on an international scale. The findings provide a piece of novel Internet-based evidence for the seasonality and health effects of tobacco use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0117938
JournalPLoS One
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 17 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

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