E-cigarette tax stops smokers quitting, according to new research.
Researchers from the National Bureau of Economic Research believe that taxing e-cigarettes like tobacco could impact smoking-cessation.
Almost 2 million US smokers could be deterred from quitting in a ten-year period, the study found.
This is if e-cigarette tax matches the current tobacco rate in Minnesota.
Minnesota was the first US state to impose a tax on e-cigarettes by including them in the definition of a tobacco product.
The current rate of tax is 95 percent of the wholesale price and the researchers says this provides a “deterrent to e-cigarette use.”
Although there is no federal tax on e-cigarettes, many states are beginning to impose similar levies.
Millions of Americans could be deterred from switching to vaping if national tax becomes as high as in Minnesota.
The researchers assessed tobacco-use data from the Current Population Survey between 1992 and 2015.
They were then able to determine how this large tax increase has impacted smoking cessation.
According to their current estimates, the e-cigarette tax in Minnesota has increased adult smoking.
It has also reduced overall smoking-cessation.
In the study the researchers say:
“Our results suggest that in the sample period about 32,400 additional adult smokers would have quit smoking in Minnesota in the absence of the tax.
“If this tax were imposed on a national level about 1.8 million smokers would be deterred from quitting in a ten year period.”