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Impact of e-cigarette and cigarette prices on youth and young adult e-cigarette and cigarette behaviour: evidence from a national longitudinal cohort

Abstract

Introduction Understanding the impact of prices for tobacco and nicotine products is critical for creating policies to prevent use among young people. This study examines the impact of electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) and cigarette prices on current e-cigarette and cigarette use among youth and young adults.

Methods Data were from a national probability-based sample aged 15–21 collected in 2014 and followed every 6 months for 2.5 years through 2016. We conducted separate conditional likelihood logistic regression models with past 30-day e-cigarette use and past 30-day cigarette use outcomes on the sample of individuals who participated in at least two survey waves (n=11 578) with linked Nielsen market-level price data for rechargeable e-cigarettes and cigarettes. Models controlled for time-varying variables at the individual and state policy levels, and fixed effects at the individual, wave and market levels.

Results Higher cigarette prices were associated with increased past 30-day e-cigarette use, indicating e-cigarettes may serve as a substitute for cigarettes. We did not find a statistically significant relationship between rechargeable e-cigarette prices and past 30-day e-cigarette use; neither did we find a significant relationship between rechargeable e-cigarette prices and past 30-day cigarette smoking.

Conclusion This is the first study to examine e-cigarette and cigarette prices on e-cigarette and cigarette behaviour longitudinally among young people. Findings suggest the need for better measuring the costs associated with e-cigarette use among this population, as well as a careful assessment of price and tax policies that takes into account cross-product impact to sufficiently discourage e-cigarette and cigarette use among young people.

  • electronic nicotine delivery devices
  • non-cigarette tobacco products
  • price
  • public policy
  • taxation
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