Intended and unintended effects of e-cigarette taxes on youth tobacco use

Rahi Abouk, Charles Courtemanche, Dhaval Dave, Bo Feng, Abigail S. Friedman, Johanna Catherine Maclean, Michael F. Pesko, Joseph J. Sabia, Samuel Safford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Over the past decade, rising youth use of e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) has contributed to aggressive regulation by state and local governments. Between 2010 and mid-2019, ten states and two large counties adopted ENDS taxes. We use two large national surveys (Monitoring the Future and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System) to estimate the impact of ENDS taxes on youth tobacco use. We find that ENDS taxes reduce youth ENDS consumption, with estimated ENDS tax elasticities of -0.06 to -0.21. However, we estimate sizable positive cigarette cross-tax effects, suggesting economic substitution between cigarettes and ENDS for youth. These substitution effects are particularly large for frequent cigarette smoking. We conclude that the unintended effects of ENDS taxation may considerably undercut or even outweigh any public health gains.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102720
JournalJournal of Health Economics
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cigarettes
  • E-cigarettes
  • Electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS)
  • Smoking
  • Taxes
  • Vaping
  • Youth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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