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Open Access Perceptions of E-cigarettes and Flavor Restrictions among Tobacco Retailers in Los Angeles

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Objectives: In this study, we examined tobacco retailers' perceptions of e-cigarettes and associations with in-store availability of e-cigarettes. Methods: Retailers (N = 700) in multiple, racial/ethnic neighborhoods (black/African-American, N = 200); Hispanic/Latino, N = 200; white American, N = 200; Korean American, N = 100) in Los Angeles County participated in on-site interviews and store observations. Results: Controlling for individual and racial/ethnic neighborhood factors, retailers in majority-white neighborhoods had significantly higher odds of selling e-cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes than retailers located in Hispanic/Latino (p < .001, OR = 0.14, 95% CI = 0.08-0.25; p < .001, OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.11-0.33) and Korean American (p < .05, OR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.12-0.37; p < .05, OR = 0.21, 95% CI = 0.12-0.39) neighborhoods. Perceptions of e-cigarettes as being completely safe/safer than cigarettes were significantly associated with availability of flavored e-cigarettes (p < .05, OR = 2.03, 95% CI = 1.04-3.97); and opposition to flavored e-cigarette restrictions was marginally significantly associated with availability of flavored e-cigarettes (p < .10, OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 0.96-2.51). Adjusting for store type, perceptions of e-cigarettes as being completely safe/safer than cigarettes were marginally significantly associated with availability of flavored e-cigarettes (p < .10, OR = 1.78, 95% CI = 0.85-3.73). Conclusions: Targeted efforts are warranted for educating retailers and employees in these neighborhoods on the appeal and nicotine dependence potential of e-cigarette use for youth.

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Keywords: E-CIGARETTES; TOBACCO DISPARITIES; TOBACCO MARKETING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Sabrina L. Smiley, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States;, Email: [email protected] 2: Heesung Shin, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States 3: Shyanika W. Rose, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Science, Lexington, KY, United States 4: Yaneth L. Rodriguez, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States 5: Rosa Barahona, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States 6: Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Publication date: November 1, 2020

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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