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Open Access Using the Vape Shop Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings (V-STARS) to Assess Product Availability, Price Promotions, and Messaging in New Hampshire Vape Shop Retailers

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Objectives: This is the first statewide census of the product availability, price promotions, and product messaging of vape shops. Methods: A comprehensive list of New Hampshire vape shops was developed through a previously validated online search method. Store audits were conducted in 55 stores between January and February 2016 using the Vape Shop Standardized Tobacco Assessment for Retail Settings (V-STARS). Results: Modifiable devices and cig-alikes were sold in 92.6% and 14.6% of stores, respectively. Cross-product promotions with tobacco products were rare, and messaging promoting e-cigarettes as effective cessation devices was found in 27.3% of all stores. Candy/fruit and menthol e-liquids were most commonly found in stores, and sampling of products was available in 83.6% of stores. Ten (18.2%) stores did not have a minimum age sign posted, and self-service sampling displays were available in about one-fifth of stores. Conclusions: Using V-STARS to conduct retail assessments of vape shops is feasible and is important for assessing the changing retail environment of vape shops. Vape shops distinguish themselves from traditional tobacco product retailers and offer a variety of products to customize a consumer's experience. Regulations and effective enforcement ensuring accurate health messages is essential.

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Keywords: E-CIGARETTES; POINT OF SALE; VAPE; VAPE SHOPS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2017

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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