Research paper
 
CC-BY-NC 4.0
 
 

The Associations between Yelp Online Reviews and Vape Shops Closing or Remaining Open One Year Later

Grace Kong 1  ,  
 
1
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
2
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2016;2(Supplement):9
Publish date: 2017-02-02
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
 
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
Vape shops are popular brick-and-mortar stores that sell e-cigarette products but are not understood well. Previous analysis of Yelp reviews of vape shops located in various ethnic neighborhoods in Los Angeles, California in 2014 identified characteristics of vape shop as delineated by consumers. In this study, we assessed the associations between these characteristics and vape shops going out of business in 2015.

Methods:
Content analysis of Yelp reviews of 72 vape shops in 2014 identified 1) general characteristics of the reviews/reviewers, 2) vape shop, staff, and marketing attributes, 3) physical environment, and 4) health claims. In 2015, in-person visits confirmed that 22% of these vape shops closed permanently. We analyzed whether characteristics/attributes identified in 2014 associated with stores remaining open (n = 56) or permanently closing (n = 16) in 2015.

Results:
Univariate findings showed that open vape shops relative to closed shops had greater 1) number of reviews, 2) rebuilds/fixings, 3) ratings of staff attributes as “helpful/patient/respectful,” and 4) report of the physical environment as “bar type.”

Conclusions:
Bar type vape shops and those with rebuilding/fixing capabilities were associated with staying open, suggesting the popularity of these attributes. Yelp consumer reviews is a useful research tool to identify consumer-determined important sustaining attributes of vape shops and may be used to identify aspects of enduring shops that need regulations.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Grace Kong   
Yale School of Medicine, 34 Park st. Room S-211, 06519 New Haven, United States
 
REFERENCES:
1. Lee YO, Kim AE: 'Vape shops’ and ‘E-Cigarette lounges’ open across the USA to promote ENDS. Tob Control. 2015, 24, 410-2. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051437.
2. Groskofpf C: What Yelp data reveals about the sudden rise of vape shops in America Available from: http://qz.com/608469/what-yelp-data-tells-us-about-vaping/. (accessed February 2016).
3. Herzog B. NATO E-cig and Vape Panel: Key Trends Facing the Industry. Wells Fargo Securities, LLC; April 22, 2015.
4. Cheney MK, Gowin M, Wann TF: Vapor store owner beliefs and messages to customers. Nicotine Tob Res. 2016, 694-9. doi:10.1093/ntr/ntv129.
5. Basch CH, Kecojevic A, Menafro A: Provision of information regarding electronic cigarettes from shop employees in New York City. Public Health. 2016, 136, 175-7. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2016.03.034.
6. Allem J, Unger JB, Garcia R, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Sussman S: Tobacco attitudes and behaviors of vape shop retailers in Los Angeles. Am J Public Health. 2015, 39:6, 794-8. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.39.6.7.
7. Nayak P, Kemp CB, Redmon P: A qualitative study of vape shop pperators' 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, 160071. doi:10.5888/pcd13.160071.
8. FDA: Vaporizers, e-cigarettes, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). Available from: http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ProductsIngredientsComponents/ucm456610.htm (accessed July 2016.
9. Sussman S, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Garcia R, Barker DC, Samet JM, Leventhal A, et al.: Commentary: Forces that drive the vape shop industry and implications for the health professions. Eval Health Prof. 2016, 39:3, 379-88. doi:10.1177/0163278715586295.
10. Sussman S, Garcia R, Cruz TB, Baezconde-Garbanati L, Pentz M, Unger JB: Consumers' perceptions of vape shops in Southern California: an analysis of online Yelp reviews. Tob Induc Dis. 2014, 14:22. doi:10.1186/s12971-014-0022-7.
11. Yelp: About us 2016. Available from: http://www.yelp.com/about (accesssed July 2016).
12. Sussman S, Allem J, Garcia J, Unger JB, Cruz TB, Garcia R, et al.: Who walks into vape shops in Southern California?: a naturalistic observation of customers. Tob Induc Dis. 2016, 14:18. doi:10.1186/s12971-016-0082-y.
13. Kim AE, Loomis B, Rhodes B, Eggers ME, Liedtke C, Porter L: Identifying e-cigarette vape stores: description of an online search methodology. Tob Control. 2015, 0, 1-5. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052270.
14. Giovenco DP, Duncan DT, Coups EJ, Lewis MJ, Delnevo CD: Census tract correlates of vape shop locations in New Jersey. Health Place. 2016, 40, 123-8. doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.05.008.
15. Dai H, Hao J: Geographic density and proximity of vape shops to colleges in the USA. Tob Control. 2016, 0, 1-7. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2016-052957.
16. Goniewicz ML, Lingas EO, Hajek P: Patterns of electronic cigarette use and user beliefs about their safety and benefits: An Internet survey. Drug Alcohol Rev. 2013, 32:2, 133-40. doi:10.1111/j.1465-3362.2012.00512.x.
17. Rose SW, Barker DC, D’Angelo H, Khan T, Huang J, Chaloupka FJ, et al.: The availability of electronic cigarettes in US retail outlets, 2012: results of two national studies. Tob Control. 2014, 23, iii10-iii6. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2013-051461.
18. Rodriguez D, Carlos HA, Adachi-Mejia AM, Berke EM, Sargent JD: Predictors of tobacco outlet density nationwide: a geographic analysis. Tob Control. 2013, 22:5, 349-55. doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050120.
19. Soule EK, Lipato T, Eissenberg T: Waterpipe tobacco-smoking: a new smoking epidemic among the young. Curr Pulmonol Rep. 2015, 4, 163-72. doi:10.1007/s13665-015-0124-6.
20. Cooper R: UMD researchers use Yelp reviews to predict whether restaurants will close Washington Business Journal. 2014.
21. Huang J, Rogers S, Joo E. Improving restaurants by extracting subtopics from Yelp reviews. iConference 20142014.
22. Luca M, Zervas G: Fake it till you make it: Reputation, competition, and Yelp review Fraud. Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No 14–006. 2015.
eISSN:2459-3087