Health & Studies

Proof: Vape Bans Increase Fag Sales

New research analysing the impact of bans on the sale of electronic cigarettes provides more confirmation that the result was an increase in tobacco sales

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New research published in Value in Health journal looked at the impact of bans on the sale of electronic cigarettes. The researchers provided further confirmation that the result was not a decrease in nicotine product use but an increase in tobacco sales. The findings should give serious pause for thought for those responsible for the retrograde steps being taken in the United States.

In Autumn of 2019, several American states enacted e-cig sales because of claimed links to the EVALI lung disease outbreak. Evidence quickly came to light that the problem was caused by illegal cannabis products containing vitamin E acetate and not normal e-liquids which do not contain that substance.

The authors of the study write: “Given that [vape products] are potential alternative nicotine products for adult smokers, banning [vape products] may have unintended consequences. This study provides evidence of an association between state-level [vape products] bans and cigarette sales.”

They note that cigarette smoking “remains the leading preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States”, meaning that any measure which decreases the sale of a harm reduction product and promotes the volume of tobacco products being consumed is disastrous.

In a rare move for an American piece of research, the authors accept the findings of the Cochrane Review, where vaping was found to promote quitting for smokers.

Using state-level cigarette sales data from a third-party commercial database, we explored the impact of state-level [vape products] bans on cigarette sales using both difference-in-differences and synthetic control methods (SCMs). The results will provide further information for policymakers regarding the potential unintended consequences of banning [vape products] from the market.”

The team found:

  • That banning vape products likely increased cigarette sales in states that had a full ban
  • That banning non-tobacco flavoured vape products likely increased cigarette sales
  • Cigarette sales rose by 4.6-7.5%
  • An estimated 3.4 million additional cigarette packs were sold during the 3-month ban period

The authors stated: “This study provides some of the first rigorous evidence of the impact of [vape products] restrictions at a market level.

Our findings advance the literature by building on the expanding research and empirical evidence of the population-level consequences of [vape products] bans on cigarette sales in a real-world setting. Additionally, this study contributes to the literature on [vape products] and cigarettes as substitute products among the smoking population. Our results are consistent with most of the tobacco market literature, which suggests that greater difficulty in accessing [vape products] is associated with increased cigarette sales and smoking prevalence.”


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Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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