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

Principal Investigators: Steven Yale Sussman and Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health – TCORS Grant

ID number: 2 U54 CA180905-06

Award Date: 9/14/18

Institution: University of Southern California


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. The project 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. Study aims are: (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); (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); (3) to test the hypothesis that these hypothetical product regulations and marketing 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+); and (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. 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.


USC TCORS: Investigating the Intersections of Products with Diverse Populations Related Resources