Vape stores in Western Australia: growth, proximity to schools and socio-economic gradient of density

Matthew Tuson, Natalia Lizama, Caitlin Kameron, Angela Gazey, Lisa Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To audit the number and location of dedicated e-cigarette retailers (“vape stores”) in Western Australian (WA), measure proximity to schools and model the association between vape store density and socio-economic disadvantage. Methods: Vape stores were identified via internet search and geocoded. Proximity to schools was measured. Regression modelling was used to investigate the association between vape store density and socio-economic disadvantage. Results: 194 stores were identified, with 88% located within one kilometre of a school. In metropolitan WA, vape store density was nearly seven times higher in the most socio-economically disadvantaged areas than in the least disadvantaged areas (rate ratio 6.9, 95% confidence interval 3.4–15.5). Conclusions: There has been rapid, recent growth in the number of vape stores in WA, with most located within walking distance of schools. In metropolitan WA, vape store density is strongly associated with socio-economic disadvantage, mirroring the pattern observed globally for tobacco outlets. Implications for Public Health: This is the first Australian study demonstrating that vape stores are more densely located in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. Vape stores’ proximity to schools may increase young people's access and exposure to promotional signage. There is a need to address ready e-cigarette availability through strong regulatory and compliance measures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100118
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024

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