in Minnesota as they introduced an e-cigarette tax to deter people from vaping but then smoking rates increased. Taxing eLiquids and vapes at the same rate as cigarettes would increase e-cigarette prices by about 62%, but also boost traditional cigarette smoking by about 8%. because as it turns out high taxes on e-cigarette products make adult smokers less likely to quit smoking.
At least that is according to researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Higher e-cigarette taxes in Minnesota increased smoking rates and led to a fall in the rate of adult smokers who quit, “implying that e-cigs are a likely substitute for conventional cigarettes among current smokers,” they said while restraining back their natural reaction to also scream "Duh!"
Researchers analyzed from 1992 to 2015 data taken from the Current Population Survey’s tobacco-use supplements. Taxing e-cigarettes at the same rate as cigarettes would increase e-cigarette prices by about 62%, but also boost traditional cigarette smoking by about 8%, and deter some 2.75 million smokers from quitting.
Among Minnesota’s roughly 600,000 adult smokers in 2014, some 32,400 additional adults would have quit smoking during the sample period had that tax not been in effect, the researchers found. Applying the state’s tax at a national level would have deterred an estimated 1.83 million smokers from quitting over 10 years, they added. “We find consistent and robust evidence that the e-cig tax in Minnesota increased adult smoking relative to what it would have been in the absence of this tax,” the authors wrote in the study.
There is no federal e-cigarette tax, but at least 20 states and Washington, D.C., have approved some kind of tax on e-cigarettes, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a nonprofit advocacy organization. Minnesota in 2010 was the first state to implement an e-cigarette tax, and in 2013 hiked its tax from 35% of the wholesale price to 95%, the study authors said.
These results are suggesting that e-cigarettes can help adult smokers quit, “this needs to be balanced against the goal of reducing vaping and nicotine use among youth,” the authors said. “The public health benefits of not taxing e-cigarettes must be weighed against effects of this decision on efforts to reduce vaping by youth.”
What do you think about this evidence? Does this finally buck the myth that vaping is a gateway to vaping? Is the real problem under all of this anti-vape hysteria hiding the fact people are going to consume nicotine one way or another? Will the state come to a different proposed solution in light of this tax based influencing choice evidence?