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Towards an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products

Cox, Sharon; West, Robert; Notley, Caitlin; Soar, Kirstie; Hasting, Janna; (2023) Towards an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products. Addiction , 118 (1) pp. 177-188. 10.1111/add.16010. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Ontologies are ways of representing information that improve clarity and the ability to connect different data sources. This paper proposes an initial version of an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products with the aim of reducing ambiguity and confusion in the field. METHODS: Terms related to tobacco, nicotine and vaping products were identified in the research literature and their usage characterised. Basic Formal Ontology was used as a unifying upper-level ontology to describe the domain, and classes with definitions and labels were developed linking them to this ontology. Labels, definitions and properties were reviewed and revised in an iterative manner until a coherent set of classes was agreed by the authors. RESULTS: Overlapping, but distinct classes were developed: ‘tobacco-containing product’, ‘nicotine-containing product’ and ‘vaping device’. Subclasses of tobacco-containing products are ‘combustible tobacco-containing product’, ‘heated tobacco product’ and ‘smokeless tobacco-containing product’. Subclasses of combustible tobacco-containing product include ‘cigar’, ‘cigarillo’, ‘bidi’ and ‘cigarette’ with further subclasses including ‘manufactured cigarette’. Manufactured cigarettes have properties that include ‘machine-smoked nicotine yield’ and ‘machine-smoked tar yield’. Subclasses of smokeless tobacco product include ‘nasal snuff’, ‘chewing tobacco product’, and ‘oral snuff’ with its subclass ‘snus’. Subclasses of nicotine-containing product include ‘nicotine lozenge’ and ‘nicotine transdermal patch’. Subclasses of vaping device included ‘electronic vaping device’ with a further subclass, ‘e-cigarette’. E-cigarettes have evolved with a complex range of properties including atomiser resistance, battery power, properties of consumables including e-liquid nicotine concentration and flavourings, and the ontology characterises classes of product accordingly. CONCLUSIONS: Use of an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products should help reduce ambiguity and confusion in tobacco control research and practice.

Type: Article
Title: Towards an ontology of tobacco, nicotine and vaping products
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/add.16010
Publisher version: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/toc/13600443/0/0
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Addiction published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society for the Study of Addiction. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10153406
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