Introduction: Vape shops are an emerging business specializing in the sales and promotion of e-cigarette, e-juice, and other vaping products. This study sought to evaluate the associations between vape shop density and socio-demographic characteristics at the US census tract level. Methods: Vape shop data (n = 9943) were collected from three online directories: Yelp.com, Yellowpages.com, and Guidetovaping.com. Addresses of vape shops were geocoded and the density per 10 000 people was estimated at each US census tract. Zero inflated negative binomial regression model was performed to examine the socio-demographic factors associated with vape shop density. Results: Overall, there was a higher vape shop density in urban versus nonurban census tracts. In urban areas, higher vape shop density was associated with larger proportions of Hispanics and Asians, adults aged 18-44 years old and higher poverty, while the decrease in vape shop density was associated with larger proportions of population under 18 years old, higher education, larger household size, and a higher percentage of owner occupied housing units. In nonurban areas, higher vape shop density was associated larger proportions of African Americans and Hispanics, smaller household size and a lower percentage of owner occupied housing units. Conclusion: At the national level, there are inequalities of vape shop density by some socio-demographic characteristics and heterogeneity between urban and nonurban areas. Implications: Vape shops are more likely to be concentrated in areas where people with a higher risk for vaping and smoking reside. Our findings could inform initiatives aimed at a stronger licensing requirement for vape shops and federal and state-level regulations of this industry to prevent vape shop from targeting minority and other socially disadvantaged groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health