Article

Youth access to cigarettes online [microform] : advertised and actual sales practices of Internet cigarette vendors /

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Abstract

Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2005. "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Health Behavior & Health Education, School of Public Health." Includes bibliographical references (leaves: 201-209). Microfiche. s

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Article
Objective: Identify the population of internet e-cigarette vendors (IEVs) and conduct content analyses of their age verification, purchase and delivery methods in 2013 and 2014. Methods: We used multiple sources to identify IEV websites, primarily complex search algorithms scanning more than 180 million websites. In 2013, we manually screened 32 446 websites, identifying 980 IEVs, selecting the 281 most popular for content analysis. This methodology yielded 31 239 websites for screening in 2014, identifying 3096 IEVs, with 283 selected for content analysis. Results: The proportion of vendors that sold online-only, with no retail store, dropped significantly from 2013 (74.7%) to 2014 (64.3%) (p<0.01), with a corresponding significant decrease in US-based vendors (71.9% in 2013 and 65% in 2014). Most vendors did little to prevent youth access in either year, with 67.6% in 2013 and 63.2% in 2014 employing no age verification or relying exclusively on strategies that cannot effectively verify age. Effective age verification strategies such as online age verification services (7.1% in 2013 and 8.5% in 2014), driving licences (1.8% in 2013 and 7.4% in 2014, p<0.01) or age verification at delivery (6.4% in 2013 and 8.1% in 2104) were rarely advertised on IEV websites. Nearly all vendors advertised accepting credit cards, and about ¾ shipping via United States Postal Service, similar to the internet cigarette industry prior to federal bans. Conclusions: The number of IEVs grew sharply from 2013 to 2014, with poor age verification practices. New and expanded regulations for online e-cigarette sales are needed, including strict age and identity verification requirements.
Article
This study aimed to fill information gaps about the sales and marketing practices of Internet alcohol vendors and their implications for addressing youth access and other legal violations. Further, it aimed to expand the limited scientific literature on Internet alcohol sales using systematic survey methods to inform future efforts to regulate this industry and prevent sales to minors. The design was a cross-sectional website content analysis survey. 105 Internet alcohol vendor websites. Six key content analysis topics were explored: products offered, average prices, and proportions of vendors using different promotions, policy statements, and methods for age verification, payment, and delivery. Websites sell and promote a variety of alcohol products, offered as cheaply as $1.93 for a 750ml bottle. Vendors rely heavily on age verification methods that are unlikely to prevent sales to minors. Many vendors advertise shipping of products via methods through which it is illegal or against delivery company policies to transport alcohol, and 99% of vendors accept credit cards. Limiting and enforcing delivery and payment options are types of policy interventions that have been used successfully with Internet cigarette vendors that may be applicable to Internet alcohol vendors as well. Internet alcohol vendor practices are insufficient to prevent sales to minors, and need further regulation and enforcement of existing policies. Their sales practices are similar to those of Internet cigarette vendors prior to regulation, and similar regulatory approaches may be effective in reducing Internet alcohol sales to minors.
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