Don Kenkel, Alan Mathios, Hua Wang, 14 August 2020

The development of e-cigarettes has renewed interest in products that reduce the harm from tobacco use. This column argues that recent research appearing to demonstrate a link between e-cigarettes and respiratory disease does not tell the whole story. Adopting a more flexible empirical specification that takes into account whether people are never smokers, former smokers or current smokers, the authors find no evidence that current or former e-cigarette use is associated with respiratory disease among respondents who had never smoked combustible tobacco. Moreover, while dual users are more likely to develop respiratory disease than non-smokers, there do not appear to be significant differences between dual users and smokers.

Rahi Abouk, Scott Adams, Bo Feng, Catherine Maclean, Michael Pesko, 11 October 2019

Since 2006, e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular among young people in the US. But a series of recent vaping-related illnesses have heightened concerns among critics, who do not see them as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Against this backdrop of uncertainty, this column examines the effects of e-cigarette taxes on smoking outcomes in a particularly important group: pregnant women. Its primary findings are twofold: e-cigarette taxes increase traditional cigarette smoking among pregnant women, and do not appear to influence birth outcomes.

Michael Grossman, Dhaval Dave, Henry Saffer, Don Kenkel, Daniel Dench, 05 May 2018

In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration extended its authority over tobacco products to include e-cigarettes. This column argues that advertising restrictions and taxes on e-cigarettes could discourage people from quitting traditional cigarettes. However, little is known about the long-term health consequences of the use of e-cigarettes, so it is too early to conclude that unrestricted advertising of e-cigarettes and low or no federal taxation would advance public health.

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