Role of vape shop marketing and awareness of FDA regulations in employees' perceptions of electronic cigarettes
We will present empirical data from a pilot-study on vape shops (n=78) in Los Angeles, which examined different characteristics of shops through employee interviews and store observations. The data were collected from shops in communities that are predominantly, African-American (n=20), Hispanic (n=17), Korean (n=18), or non-Hispanic White (n=23).
Sixty-one percent of the stores had advertisements for e-cigarettes and 81% had promotions offering discounts. Employees who worked in stores with e-cigarette advertisements were significantly more likely to view them as safer than combustible cigarettes (Fishers:p<0.01); 93% of the employees interviewed were aware of potential FDA regulatory actions regarding vape shops, with most expecting regulatory actions to address e-juices. Those who viewed e-cigarettes as safer were more likely to be aware of FDA actions (p<.05).
Employee perceptions of e-cigarette safety and FDA regulatory actions could affect the way they present the products to consumers, which will represent increases in sales and nicotine addiction. Addressing vape shops’ discount promotions must be a priority as these can lead to initiation of use by price conscious consumers such as youth and ethnic minorities.
Learning Areas:Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Identify areas for policy action in e-cigarette and vape shop marketing. Describe the role of vape shop employees in communicating the perceived safety of e-cigarettes to consumers as a marketing tool. Discuss the implications of unregulated vape shop and e-cigarette marketing on nicotine addiction in vulnerable populations.
Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Marketing
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to submit and present this abstract as I am a pre-doctoral trainee in tobacco regulatory sciences. I experience in research addressing health policy and behavior in ethnically diverse communities. I participated in many federally funded projects addressing tobacco policy and behavior, community based approaches to policy and behavioral change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.