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‘I Felt Welcomed in Like They’re a Little Family in There, I Felt Like I Was Joining a Team or Something’: Vape Shop Customers’ Experiences of E-Cigarette Use, Vape Shops and the Vaping Community

UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(13), 2341; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16132341
Received: 4 June 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 2 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

Background: Specialist electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) shops, known as vape shops, provide access to a less harmful alternative to smoking. This study aimed to understand customers’ experiences of vaping and vape shops, and the extent to which smoking cessation advice is and should be provided in these shops. Methods: We conducted telephone interviews with 22 customers recruited in vape shops in the East Midlands region of England. Interviews explored participants’ smoking histories, reasons for using e-cigarettes, the role of vape shops in their e-cigarette use, and whether smoking cessation was discussed in vape shops. Interviews were analysed following framework approach principles. Results: Most respondents regarded e-cigarettes as a quitting tool and reported very positive experiences of vaping. Vape shops were central to participants’ positive experiences, in that they provided access to a wide variety of high-quality products and reliable product information and advice. The shop staff engendered a sense of loyalty in customers which, together with the community of other vapers, created a network that helped to support e-cigarette use. Vape shops were not regarded as a setting in which cessation advice was generally provided but were acknowledged as potentially appropriate places to provide quitting support. Conclusions: Vape shops have the potential to play an important role in tobacco harm reduction, which could be increased if their service model were to extend to help smokers to quit. View Full-Text
Keywords: e-cigarettes; smoking cessation; vaping; tobacco control; harm reduction; vape shops e-cigarettes; smoking cessation; vaping; tobacco control; harm reduction; vape shops
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Langley, T.; Bell-Williams, R.; Pattinson, J.; Britton, J.; Bains, M. ‘I Felt Welcomed in Like They’re a Little Family in There, I Felt Like I Was Joining a Team or Something’: Vape Shop Customers’ Experiences of E-Cigarette Use, Vape Shops and the Vaping Community. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2341.

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