Census tract correlates of vape shop locations in New Jersey

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Vape shops are opening across the USA, but little is known about the types of neighborhoods where they are located. This study explores community-level predictors of vape shop locations in New Jersey, USA.


Vape shops were identified in July 2015 using a validated systematic online search protocol and geocoded using Google Earth Pro. Multivariable logistic regression identified demographic and other predictors of vape shop presence at the census tract level.


Tobacco outlet density was consistently associated with higher odds of vape shop presence after adjusting for covariates (p<0.05). However, factors traditionally associated with tobacco retail were negatively associated with vapor outlets. Census tracts with a higher proportion of non-Hispanic black residents had significantly lower odds of having a vape shop (β=−0.03, p<0.001).


Vape shops are commonly located in census tracts where tobacco retail is high, but where fewer racial minorities live. The retail environment may communicate social norms regarding vaping and ultimately influence use behaviors of community residents.

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