The marketing expenditure and sale of e-cigarettes increased sharply in the United States in recent years. However, little is known about neighborhood characteristics of point-of-sale (POS) e-cigarette advertising among tobacco stores. The purpose of this study was to examine socio-demographic characteristics of POS e-cigarette advertising among tobacco stores in the Omaha metropolitan area of Nebraska, USA. Between April and June 2014, trained fieldworkers completed marketing audits of all stores that sell tobacco (n = 463) in the Omaha metropolitan area and collected comprehensive e-cigarette advertising data of these stores. Based on the auditing information, we categorized tobacco stores based on e-cigarette advertising status. Logistic regression was used to examine the association between neighborhood socio-demographic factors and e-cigarette advertising among tobacco stores. 251 (54.2%) of the 463 tobacco stores had e-cigarette advertisements. We found that neighborhoods of stores with POS e-cigarette advertising had higher per capita income (p < 0.05), higher percentage of non-hispanic whites (p < 0.005), and higher percentage of individuals with high school education (p < 0.005) than neighborhoods of stores without POS e-cigarette advertising. There were negative associations between e-cigarette advertising and number of adolescents or number of middle/high school students. After adjusting for covariates, only percentage of non-Hispanic Whites remained a significant factor for e-cigarette advertising. POS e-cigarette advertising among tobacco stores is related with neighborhood socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. Future studies are needed to understand how these characteristics are related with e-cigarette purchasing and e-cigarette prevalence among social groups.
Keywords: Electronic cigarette; GIS; Point-of-sale marketing; Race/ethnicity; Socioeconomic status.