Sales of Nicotine-Containing Electronic Cigarette Products: United States, 2015

Am J Public Health. 2017 May;107(5):702-705. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303660. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Objectives: To assess the proportion of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products sold in the United States that contain nicotine according to retail scanner data.

Methods: We obtained unit sales data from January 11, 2015, to December 12, 2015, from The Nielsen Company for convenience stores; supermarkets; mass merchandisers; drug, club, and dollar stores; and Department of Defense commissaries. The data did not include purchases from tobacco specialty shops, "vape shops," or online sources. Nicotine content was assessed by product type (disposables, rechargeables, and refills), region, and flavor status based on nicotine strength listed in the Universal Product Codes. For the 36.7% of entries lacking nicotine content information, we conducted Internet searches by brand, product, and flavor.

Results: In 2015, 99.0% of e-cigarette products sold contained nicotine, including 99.0% of disposables, 99.7% of rechargeables, and 98.8% of refills. Overall, 98.7% of flavored e-cigarette products and 99.4% of nonflavored e-cigarette products contained nicotine.

Conclusions: In 2015, almost all e-cigarette products sold in US convenience stores and other assessed channels contained nicotine. Public Health Implications. Findings reinforce the importance of warning labels for nicotine-containing products, ingredient reporting, and restrictions on sales to minors.

MeSH terms

  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data
  • Commerce / trends*
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Flavoring Agents
  • Humans
  • Nicotine / administration & dosage*
  • Product Labeling / standards
  • United States


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Nicotine