Marketing Practices of Vapor Store Owners
We examined the marketing strategies for local vapor stores in a large metropolitan area in Oklahoma. Vapor store owners or managers (n = 33) participated in individual interviews regarding marketing practices in 2014. We asked owners about their marketing strategies and the groups they targeted. We transcribed the interviews and analyzed them for themes. Store owners used a variety of marketing strategies to bring new customers to their stores and keep current customers coming back. These marketing strategies showed many parallels to tobacco industry strategies. Most owners engaged in some form of traditional marketing practices (e.g., print media), but only a few used radio or television advertising because of budget constraints. Owners used social media and other forms of electronic communication, pricing discounts and specials, and loyalty programs. Owners also had booths at local events, sponsored community events, and hosted them in their stores. Owners attempted to target different groups of users, such as college students and long-term smokers. Local vapor storemarketing practices closely resemble current and former tobacco industry marketing strategies. Surveillance of marketing practices should include local and Web-based strategies.