Influence of Tobacco Product Characteristics and Marketing on Diverse Populations of Vape Shop Customers Project 2

Project 2 will contrast three groups of vape shop customers — e-cigarette-only users (who never smoked cigarettes extensively); switchers (who quit smoking and now only use e-cigarettes); and dual users (who currently use both e-cigarettes and cigarettes) —regarding perceived appeal and anticipated purchase/use of e-cigarettes and combustible products currently and after hypothetical regulatory changes. Vape shops, which specialize in selling a variety of e-cigarette products, are a key channel of exposure to these products. The goal of this project is to examine how different segments of the vape shop customer population would likely react to hypothetical e-cigarette regulations. Researchers will conduct interviews with customers (ages 21 and older) exiting vape shops in a racially/ethnically diverse set of neighborhoods. Findings may inform future regulatory activities related to e-cigarettes.

Principal Investigators

Steve Sussman, Ph.D., FAAHB, FAPA
Professor of Preventive Medicine

Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, Ph.D.
Professor of Preventive Medicine

Project Aims

Aim 1: To test the hypothesis that hypothetical regulations related to sweet flavors, e-liquid propylene glycol/vegetable glycerin ratios, and ability to calibrate a device will be associated with lower e-cigarette appeal and lower anticipated future purchase/use in e-cigarette-only users (vs. switchers and dual users)

Aim 2: To test hypothetical marketing practices that may be associated with lower e-cigarette appeal and lower anticipated future purchase/use in e-cigarette-only users (vs. switchers and dual users)

Aim 3: To test the hypothesis that these hypothetical product regulations and marketing standards practices will be associated with lower e-cigarette appeal and lower anticipated purchase/use among young adults (age 21-29) vs. middle/older adults (30+)

Aim 4: To examine the above associations as a function of (a) current product(s) used, (b) race/ethnicity, (c) gender, (d) socioeconomic status, and (e) shop location

For more information on this project, please contact tcors@usc.edu

Publications

The University of Southern California's Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (USC TCORS) for Vulnerable Populations is one of 9 Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science in the U.S. We were created to serve in the production of relevant scientific data to inform the regulatory decision making at the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. Additionally, we are here to educate and train the next generation of tobacco regulatory scientists.

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