Research paper
 
CC-BY-NC 4.0
 
 

Examining the Smoking and Vaping Behaviors and Preferences of Vape Shop Customers

Ellen Meier 3,  
Alayna P Tackett 1, 4,  
Eleanor L. Leavens 2, 4,  
 
1
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Pediatrics, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, Oklahoma, USA
2
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, Oklahoma, USA
3
University of Minnesota, Department of Psychiatry, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
4
Oklahoma State University, Department of Psychology, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2016;2(Supplement):5
Publish date: 2016-10-04
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
 
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
The prevalence of vape shops has increased dramatically in recent years. Yet, few studies have examined the smoking/vaping behaviors and vaping preferences of vape shop customers and reasons they patronize vape shops. The present study seeks to address this gap.

Methods:
A convenience sample of 100 vape shop customers completed a brief questionnaire assessing past and current tobacco/e-cigarette use, vaping preferences and reasons they patronize vape shops. Self-reported smoking status was confirmed via exhaled carbon monoxide measurement.

Results:
Participants reported health and to quit/reduce smoking as the most important reasons for initiating e-cigarette use. Approximately 62% were biochemically-verified smoking abstinent and 100% were using newer generation e-cigarette devices. A majority (91%) reported enjoying vaping more than smoking, 80% preferred non-tobacco e-cigarette flavors, though 60% reported they would still vape if the only flavor available was tobacco. Participants reported “battery life”, “tastes good”, and “curbs cravings” as the most important e-cigarette features; the least important feature was “feels/looks like traditional cigarette”. A majority reported they preferred to buy e-cigarette supplies at vapor shops because of “access to staff who can help troubleshoot e-cigarette problems” (85%), and “enjoy the atmosphere” (74%).

Conclusions:
Vape shop customers demonstrated a high rate of smoking abstinence and reported product preferences consistent with newer generation devices. Customers valued the atmosphere and knowledgeable staff at vape shops. These findings suggest important avenues of investigation into the effects of unique characteristics of vape shops on smoking and vaping behaviors of its patrons, not only for clinical research but also for tobacco regulation.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Theodore Lee Wagener   
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Department of Pediatrics, Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center, 655 Research Parkway, Suite 400, 73104 Oklahoma City, United States
 
REFERENCES:
1. Arrazola, R.A., et al., Tobacco use among middle and high school students - United States, 2011-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2015. 64(14): p. 381-5.
2. King, B.A., et al., Trends in awareness and use of electronic cigarettes among US adults, 2010-2013. Nicotine Tob Res, 2015. 17(2): p. 219-27. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu191.
3. Weaver, S.R., et al., Use of electronic nicotine delivery systems and other tobacco products among USA adults, 2014: results from a national survey. Int J Public Health, 2015. doi: 10.1007/s00038-015-0761-0.
4. Herzog B., G.J., Scott A. Tobacco Talk: Vapors/Tanks Driving Next Wave of E-Vapor Growth. Wells Fargo:Wells Frago Securities LLC; 2014.
5. Groskopf, C.W.Y.d.r.a.t.s.r.o.v.s.i.A.Q., 2016. Available from http://qz.com/608469/what-yelp-data-tells-us-about-vaping/. (assecced March 2016).
6. Sussman, S., et al., Commentary: Forces That Drive the Vape Shop Industry and Implications for the Health Professions. Eval Health Prof, 2015.
7. Lechner, W.V., et al., Effects of Duration of Electronic Cigarette Use. Nicotine Tob Res, 2014. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntu061.
8. Tackett, A.P., et al., Biochemically Verified Smoking Cessation and Vaping Beliefs Among Vape Store Customers. Addiction, 2015. doi: 10.1111/add.12878.
9. Lee, Y.O. and A.E. Kim, 'Vape shops' and 'E-Cigarette lounges' open across the USA to promote ENDS.Tob Control. 2015 Jul;24(4):410-2. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051437.
10. Lee, Y.O. and A.E. Kim, 'Vape shops' and 'E-Cigarette lounges' open across the USA to promote ENDS. Tob Control, 2015. 24(4): p. 410-2. doi: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051437.
11. Cheney, M., M. Gowin, and T.F. Wann, Marketing practices of vapor store owners. Am J Public Health, 2015. 105(6): p. e16-21. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302610.
12. Sussman, S., et al., Consumers' perceptions of vape shops in Southern California: an analysis of online Yelp reviews. Tob Induc Dis, 2014. 12(1): p. 22. doi: 10.1186/s12971-014-0022-7.
13. Cheney, M.K., M. Gowin, and T.F. Wann, Vapor Store Owner Beliefs and Messages to Customers.Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 May;18(5):694-9. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntv129.
14. Kalkhoran, S. and S.A. Glantz, E-cigarettes and smoking cessation in real-world and clinical settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Respir Med, 2016. 4(2): p. 116-28. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00521-4.
15. Sussman, S., et al., Who walks into vape shops in Southern California?: a naturalistic observation of customers. Tob Induc Dis, 2016. 14: p. 18. doi: 10.1186/s12971-016-0082-y.
16. Tackett, A.P., et al., Biochemically verified smoking cessation and vaping beliefs among vape store customers. Addiction, 2015. 110(5): p. 868-74. doi: 10.1111/add.12878.
17. Fagerstrom, K., Determinants of tobacco use and renaming the FTND to the Fagerstrom Test for Cigarette Dependence. Nicotine Tob Res, 2012. 14(1): p. 75-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntr137.
18. Transdisciplinary Tobacco Use Research Center Tobacco, D., et al., Time to first cigarette in the morning as an index of ability to quit smoking: implications for nicotine dependence. Nicotine Tob Res, 2007. 9 Suppl 4: p. S555-70.
19. SRNT Subcommittee on Biochemical Verification., Biochemical verification of tobacco use and cessation. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 2002. 4(2): p. 149-159. doi:10.1080/14622200210123581.
20. Sato, S., et al., Optimal cutoff level of breath carbon monoxide for assessing smoking status in patients with asthma and COPD. Chest, 2003. 124(5): p. 1749-54.
21. Pechacek, T.F., et al., The Potential That Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Can be a Disruptive Technology: Results From a National Survey. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016 Oct;18(10):1989-97. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntw102.
22. Nayak, P., C.B. Kemp, and P. Redmon, A Qualitative Study of Vape Shop Operators' Perceptions of Risks and Benefits of E-Cigarette Use and Attitude Toward Their Potential Regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, 2015. Prev Chronic Dis, 2016. 13: p. E68. doi: 10.5888/pcd13.160071.
23. Polosa, R., et al., Quit and smoking reduction rates in vape shop consumers: a prospective 12-month survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2015. 12(4): p. 3428-38. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120403428.
24. Farsalinos, K.E., et al., Impact of flavour variability on electronic cigarette use experience: an internet survey. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2013. 10(12): p. 7272-82. doi: 10.3390/ijerph10127272.
eISSN:2459-3087