Geospatial analyses of vape retailer accessibility: examining socioeconomic and environmental determinants

  • Gilliland, Jason A. (PI)
  • Anderson, Kelly Kathleen K.K. (CoPI)
  • Mackie, Christopher C. (CoPI)
  • Martin, Gina (CoPI)
  • Shelley, Jacob (CoPI)

Project: Research

Project Details


The overarching purpose of this research is to examine how accessibility of vape retailers and the content of municipal and school board policies regarding vaping vary in relation to the locations of schools and characteristics of neighbourhoods throughout Ontario. We will compile a geodatabase with locations of every vape retailer in Ontario. We will use this to identify, map, and characterize youth accessibility to these locations in relation to all public elementary and secondary schools in the province. We will also undertake a comprehensive policy scan to compile, map, and analyze a database of existing vape-related policies of every municipality and school board in Ontario. We will use these data to model how different policy scenarios around the restriction of vape retailing could reduce youth access to vape products. We argue that to tackle the problem of youth vaping from a population health perspective, it is critical that we gain a better understanding of the socio-ecological factors influencing youth exposure to vaping, including environmental (social and physical) and policy determinants. We adopt a health equity lens by considering how the distribution of the vape retail 'burden' varies by neighbourhood sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., % visible minority) and socioeconomic status (e.g., % low income households), and how potential policies could make the distribution of the environmental burden more or less equitable. Embracing an 'open science' approach, all the accessibility metrics we generate, and the results of the policy scans will be made freely available to other researchers and public health professionals to enable further vape-related research and health promotion efforts. Additionally, our research team and public health partners will develop a protocol to create a regularly updated surveillance dataset of metrics on the accessibility of vape retailers, allowing further inquiry into the impacts of regulatory changes.

Effective start/end date1/07/2030/06/21


  • Institute of Population and Public Health: $100,000.00


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