A Dollars and “Sense” Exploration of Vape Shop Spending and E-cigarette Use
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University of Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Submission date: 2016-03-10
Final revision date: 2016-11-27
Acceptance date: 2016-11-29
Publication date: 2016-12-02
Corresponding author
Clara G. Sears   

University of Louisville, 310 Strickler Hall, 40204 Louisville, United States
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2016;2(Supplement):10
Across the US, vape shops have emerged to provide e-cigarette users access to products not usually available at gas stations or retail stores. As vape shop sales have steadily increased, so have questions about the impact of marketing and price on e-cigarette use behaviors. In this exploratory analysis, we aim to characterize spending on e-cigarettes and evaluate the association with customer perceptions and use behaviors.

In a cross-sectional survey of vape shop customers (n=78), perceptions and use of e-cigarettes and tobacco products were assessed. Descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between spending and socioeconomic factors, demographics, and use behaviors.

Overall, spending amounts ranged from less than $10/month to more than $250/month, with a median around $50-75/month. Males spent more than females (p=0.003), but spending did not significantly differ by age (p=0.13). Customers who spent more than $50/month used lower levels of nicotine (mg/ml) (p=0.003) but a greater quantity of e-liquid (ml/month) (p<0.0001) compared to customers who spent under that amount. Mod use and intention to use e-cigarettes as a cessation device were significantly associated with vape shop spending in the regression model (OR= 17.5; 95% CI= (4.3, 70.2) and OR=0.22; 95% CI= (0.06, 0.75), respectively).

Spending appears to be significantly associated with e-cigarette use behaviors. Making “sense” of the potential relationships between the dollars spent at vape shops and consumer use behaviors is important as regulations for e-cigarette sales are proposed.

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