As the use of e-cigarettes continues to rise, so does the debate among state policymakers about the best strategies to discourage e-cigarette use among former smokers, young adults and people who have never smoked. Writing in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions researchers discuss a variety of potential strategies for e-cigarette regulation and taxation.
“Because many states, such as Florida, do not classify e-cigarettes as tobacco, there are debates regarding how to deal with them and decrease adoption among ‘never’ smokers,” said lead author Dr. Arch G. Mainous, chair of the department of health services research, management and policy at Florida. “Taxation and regulation may have a similar overall goal of decreasing smoking, but regulation tends to focus on reduced availability of products while taxation focuses on the demand side of the equation.”
The Florida team’s paper discusses potential taxation strategies for consideration by policymakers, based on different assumptions about e-cigarettes and their utility. These strategies range from untaxed, to taxation at moderate levels compared to conventional cigarettes, to taxation equal to conventional cigarettes.