Where Do Vapers Buy Their Vaping Supplies? Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) 4 Country Smoking and Vaping Survey.Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 01 26; 16(3)IJ
Aim: This study examines where vapers purchase their vaping refills in countries having different regulations over such devices, Canada (CA), the United States (US), England (EN), and Australia (AU). Methods: Data were available from 1899 current adult daily and weekly vapers who participated in the 2016 (Wave 1) International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping. The outcome was purchase location of vaping supplies (online, vape shop, other). Adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were reported for between country comparisons. Results: Overall, 41.4% of current vapers bought their vaping products from vape shops, 27.5% bought them online, and 31.1% from other retail locations. The vast majority of vapers (91.1%) reported using nicotine-containing e-liquids. In AU, vapers were more likely to buy online vs other locations compared to CA (OR = 6.4, 2.3⁻17.9), the US (OR = 4.1, 1.54⁻10.7), and EN (OR = 7.9, 2.9⁻21.8). In the US, they were more likely to buy from vape shops (OR = 3.3, 1.8⁻6.2) or online (OR = 1.9, 1.0⁻3.8) vs other retail locations when compared to those in EN. In CA, vapers were more likely to purchase at vape shops than at other retail locations when compared to vapers in EN (5.9, 3.2⁻10.9) and the US (1.87, 1.0⁻3.1). Conclusions: The regulatory environment and enforcement of such regulations appear to influence the location where vapers buy their vaping products. In AU, banning the retail sale of nicotine vaping products has led vapers to rely mainly on online purchasing sources, whereas the lack of enforcement of the same regulation in CA has allowed specialty vape shops to flourish.