||1R21CA249757-01A1 Interpret this number
||Ohio State University
||The Impact of Ends Tax Policies on the Consumption of Ends and Cigarettes
The marked increase in ENDS use in the last decade has prompted a range of government actions, including
the imposition of ENDS excise taxes by some states and localities. Currently, 23 states, DC, and several local
jurisdictions have ENDS excise taxes in place. While these taxes may prevent youth from ENDS use, it remains
unclear whether the imposition and strength of ENDS taxes enacted at the state and local levels have kept the
cost incentive for adult smokers to switch to ENDS. As a 2020 Cochrane review concluded that there is moderate
evidence supporting ENDS effectiveness in helping smokers to quit, it is increasingly important to understand
how ENDS taxes in a tobacco tax system that targets both ENDS and cigarettes impact the choices between
the two, particularly among adult smokers who use both and are possibly in transition to quitting smoking.
The growing complexity of product characteristics of ENDS further complicates the design of effective tax
policies. Unlike cigarette taxes based simply on unit (per pack), ENDS taxes can be based on volume (per ml),
price (per value), and nicotine (per mg), and choices of tax bases will lead to differential tax burdens by ENDS
systems (pods vs. disposables. vs. tank systems) that could further impact product choices, satisfaction, and
tobacco use trajectories.
The broad goal of this project is to fill the evidence gap by quantifying the impacts of ENDS tax
policies, including the imposition and strength, on tobacco consumption and choices (e.g., disposables
vs. pods; ENDS vs. cigarettes) among adult ENDS users, further exploring how differential tax burdens
due to different tax bases impact product choices. We propose to conduct volumetric choice experiments
(VCEs) among adults who dual-use cigarettes and ENDS (age 18+; N=400) to examine Aim 1 (the impact of a
tobacco tax system on choices between ENDS and cigarettes and the consumption of each), and among adults
who use ENDS and do not smoke cigarettes (age 18+; N=400) to examine Aim 2 (the impact of ENDS taxes on
ENDS product choice and consumption). We will innovatively adopt VCEs which expand on the common discrete
choice experiments (DCEs) used in tobacco research and have the following advantages: 1) measure quantities
instead of binary choices; 2) flexibly model the relationship between products by allowing for both
complementarity (e.g., ENDS use increases cigarette smoking) and substitution (ENDS use decreases smoking);
and 3) explicitly model the impacts of device taxes (prices) and refillable taxes (prices) on behaviors.
Our study is highly significant and will inform federal, state, and local ENDS tax policies by providing
evidence on the effectiveness of ENDS taxes on reducing tobacco use and harms among adult ENDS users,
which addresses NCI tobacco research priorities for the next decade, including understanding the complexity of
current tobacco products (#4) and identifying innovative policy to further reduce tobacco use (# 7).