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Taxing e-cigarettes isn’t the answer to curbing young adults affinity for tobacco products

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San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst N/Hearst Newspapers via Getty Imag
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Hearst Newspapers
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 16: A teen from a Juul e-cigarette in Oakland, Calif. Wednesday, May 16, 2018. In June, 2022, the FDA ordered Juul to remove its e-cigarettes from the market, but a U.S. court stayed that order. Juul continues to sell its products. (Jessica Christian/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

What role do taxes have in the habits of consumers? A new Yale study found that increasing taxes on e-cigarettes led to a decline in youth and young adults’ rate of daily vaping; but it led to an increase in cigarette use. The tobacco taxation in Connecticut is $4.35 cents per pack of cigarettes. The state also taxes e-cigarettes at $0.40 per milliliter.

This hour on Where We Live, we hear from the co-author of the Yale study on e-cigarette taxation and the policy implications, and from a youth and adolescent psychiatrist on the best ways to help patients cease smoking. We also look into social pressures, trends, and the influence of marketing and advertising in driving youth and young adults toward e-cigarettes.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the marketing of three new e-cigarette products in 2021, marking the first authorization of its kind by the FDA.

Concurrently, the FDA ordered hundreds of products off the market – such as a vape holder shaped like a Gameboy that kids could potentially hide from parents, and a “sunset sherbet” flavored vape liquid, which retailers continue to sell, according to a new investigation by STAT News.

The Federal Trade Commission’s first-ever e-cigarette report links “an unprecedented” increase in e-cigarette use among youth with the rise in flavored products. “The data show that this increase coincided with dramatic spikes in the market share of flavored products, higher concentrations of nicotine, and an industry attempt to evade a ban on free sampling,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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This show was produced by Sujata Srinivasan and Mira Raju

Updated: September 6, 2022 at 2:12 PM EDT
We have updated the title of this story for clarity around the scope of the Yale study and topics covered.
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Sujata Srinivasan is a Senior Producer for 'Where We Live,' the flagship news-based, call-in talk show from Connecticut Public Radio, featuring deep dives at the intersection of data-driven narrative and investigative long-form journalism. She's also an editor for the Connecticut Public newsroom.
Lucy is the Executive Producer and Host of Connecticut Public's morning talk show, 'Where We Live.' She’s a longtime public radio reporter covering several beats including immigration, juvenile justice and child welfare issues, education, veterans affairs and the military.