The Impact of E-Cigarette Price Changes on Vaping and Smoking Behaviors

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: Cigarette and e-cigarette use, especially among recent smoking quitters, are sensitive to e-cigarette pricing changes. Recent quitters were more likely to restart smoking with any e-cigarette price changes. As e-cigarette price increases, former and never smokers were more likely to quit e-cigarettes and to start smoking, respectively. For current smokers, increases in e-cigarette price may result in higher rates of smoking.

Among current smokers, increases in e-cigarette price may have both positive (quitting) and negative (increasing) effects on smoking behavior while lower e-cigarette prices may prompt a majority to reduce or quit smoking. Also, e-cigarette price changes may negatively and disproportionately affect smoking behavior for e-cigarette users and recent quitters.

The study finds that if e-cigarette prices goes down to a half or free, more than 50% of current smokers would increase e-cigarette use, with over 70% of those reporting that they would also reduce or quit smoking.

As e-cigarette prices increase (1.5 to 3), the rates of those who increase smoking also rise (15.12%–25.09%). Current smokers who would quit both smoking and e-cigarettes increase almost three-fold (4.98%–13.88%) as e-cigarette prices increase.

In addition, up to 7.59% of former and 6.33% of never smokers reported that they would restart/start smoking if e-cigarette prices triple, while up to 3.54% and 6.33% of former and never smokers also reported they would pick up smoking at half-priced or free e-cigarettes.

Understanding the relations between e-cigarette prices and e-cigarette/cigarette use may shed light on the possible impact of e-cigarette regulations on public health. 

Read the full study here

Feature Charticle

E-Cigarette Price Versus Change in Use

Substance Use and Misuse

Findings:

  • If e-cigarette price goes down to a half or free, more than 50% of current smokers would increase e-cigarette use. 

  • Over 70% of those respondents also reported that they would simultaneously reduce or quit smoking. 

  • In contrast, up to 7.59% of former and 6.33% of never smokers reported that they would restart/start smoking if e-cigarette price triples.