Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) sales and use have increased rapidly, yet point-of-sale e-cigarette availability and marketing is understudied. We estimated changes in e-cigarette availability and marketing among tobacco retailers in the U.S., and associations with neighborhood characteristics. A national sample of tobacco retailers in the Contiguous U.S. was audited in 2014 and 2015 (n = 1,905 and n = 2,126, respectively) to observe e-cigarette availability and marketing (signs, ads, displays and promotions) and generate national prevalence estimates. Store, neighborhood and state level correlates of 2015 e-cigarette availability, price promotions and exterior advertising were analyzed using multilevel mixed-effects generalized linear models. E-cigarettes were sold at 72.0% of retailers in 2014 and at 79.2% in 2015. Price promotions increased from 11.9% to 20.2% of retailers. Among retailers that did not previously sell e-cigarettes in 2012, availability in 2015 was greater for retailers in neighborhoods with the highest proportion of Black residents (vs. lowest). E-cigarette price promotions were more prevalent in neighborhoods with more Hispanic residents, while exterior e-cigarette marketing was more prevalent in neighborhoods with more Black residents. State smoking prevalence was positively associated with e-cigarette availability, promotions and advertising. E-cigarette point-of-sale availability and marketing increased between 2014 and 2015 and expanded to neighborhoods with a higher proportion of Black residents between 2012 and 2015. Retailers located within states with high smoking prevalence appear to be targeted by e-cigarette marketing. As e-cigarettes become the target of more regulations, understanding changes in the e-cigarette retail environment is critical to inform potential policies regulating their sale and marketing.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
This work was supported by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health ( P01 CA225597 to K.M.R., Project name: ASPiRE).
D'Angelo, Heather; Rose, Shyanika W.; Golden, Shelley D.; Queen, Tara; and Ribisl, Kurt M., "E-Cigarette Availability, Price Promotions and Marketing at the Point-of Sale in the Contiguous United States (2014-2015): National Estimates and Multilevel Correlates" (2020). Behavioral Science Faculty Publications. 55.