🚨New working paper🚨estimating the effect of #ecig taxes on teens authored with @JCMecon, @Courtemanche_CJ, @AboukRahi, @sammsafford, @AFriedmanPhD Dhaval Dave, Joe Sabia, and Bo Feng. #EconTwitter🧵

Paper: cheps.sdsu.edu/docs/e-cig-tax…
Press Release: bit.ly/38rm9B1

Most scientists believe #ecigs are safer than #cigarettes.

Regulating #ecigs such as with taxes therefore restricts access to a reduced-risk consumer product.

#Ecig taxes may reduce #ecig use, but they could also increase the use of more lethal forms of #nicotine.

31 states have enacted #ecig taxes, often with the stated goal of “protecting kids.”

The federal government is considering setting a federal #ecig tax at the same rate as the #cigarette tax.

Descriptive evidence suggests that higher youth #ecig use may be causing rapidly declining youth #cigarette use.

In a decade with wide #ecig availability, #healthypeople 2020 objectives for youth #cigarette use declines were surpassed by 386% of the original goal.

Other studies warn that reducing #ecig accessibility by taxing them increases #cigarette use across a variety of populations.


No studies have yet estimated the effect of #ecig tax rates on youth.

We evaluate the effect of #ecig tax rates on youth #tobacco use using two nationally-representative data sources: #MonitoringTheFuture and #YouthRiskBehaviorSurveillanceSystem.


Our policy variation:
We estimate continuous-treatment DD models to find that #ecig taxes reduce ecig use & raise #cigarette use.

Doubling existing #ecig taxes would reduce youth use by 12% but raise current #cigarette use by 8%, with particularly large increases for regular #cigarette users.

We also find that #ecig taxes increase the misperception that #ecigs are ≥ as dangerous as #cigarettes.

This misperception of risk could be harmful by causing youth to #smoke instead of #vape.

BTW, see slide 16 for other misperceptions: bit.ly/3pCsIGV

Our findings suggest that the current proposed federal bill doubling the federal #cigarette tax and setting #ecig tax equal to this would reduce youth current #ecig use by 5.5 percentage points but raise youth #cigarette use by 3.7 percentage points.

In contrast to taxing all tobacco products the same regardless of risk, many others including 15 former presidents of @srntorg (#SRNT15) recommend taxing more lethal cigarettes at a higher rate.


@suzanne_colby @robertjwest

@FDATobacco is expected to rule on Sept. 9 if #ecigs have public health benefit, which will allow for their continued sale. Our study provides further evidence that #ecig accessibility, proxied by taxes, has a public health benefit by reducing youth smoking. @maloneyfiles

Two excellent pieces by @WLF on the @FDATobacco's decision process, providing a sense of how difficult it is for govt. scientists to do their jobs. Let's support their independence and scientific judgement.



Special thanks to @NIDAnews and @RWJF for funding. Also thanks to @SDSUCHEPS, @UKISFE, & The Cannabis Research Institute at William Paterson University for center support.


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