Higher Taxes on E-cigarettes Could Drive Youth to Traditional Smoking

Higher Taxes on E-cigarettes Could Drive Youth to Traditional Smoking
A study by Yale School of Public Health shows higher taxes on e-cigarettes may lead young users to switch to traditional cigarettes.

According to international reports, a recent study by the Yale School of Public Health suggests that imposing higher taxes on electronic cigarettes may encourage young electronic cigarette users to switch to traditional cigarettes. Connecticut currently imposes a tax of $4.35 on a pack of cigarettes - the highest in the country - and a 10% wholesale tax on open-system electronic cigarettes.

Health economist Michael Pesko from Georgia State University and Abigail Friedman from Yale University co-authored this study. They expressed their hope to reduce taxes on e-cigarettes. Pesko made this statement during a Wednesday speech on Connecticut Public Radio. However, mental health experts warn that understanding and addressing the factors that lead young people to use e-cigarettes is critical.

Earlier this year, the Connecticut chapter of the American Pediatric Association testified in support of a ban on flavored e-cigarette products. According to the APA, data shows that 70% of teenage e-cigarette users cite flavor as their reason for usage. (This bill has failed to pass for the third consecutive year in Connecticut.) The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reports that 27% of high school students in Connecticut use e-cigarettes.

Not only young people are using electronic cigarettes.

Gihan Samaranayaka, who works at an electronic cigarette shop in the capital of Connecticut, Hartford, says that older people are now coming in to purchase nicotine e-cigarettes with fruit juice flavors because they have been smoking for a long time.


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