Estimating the price elasticity of demand for JUUL E-cigarettes among teens

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Drug and Alcohol Dependence


Background: The widespread popularity of e-cigarettes, particularly JUUL, has led to an alarming increase in teen nicotine use, reversing a 40-year trend. One key question is how sensitive teens’ demand for JUUL is to changes in price. Methods: We estimate the price elasticity of demand using results from an experimental auction where teen nicotine users and nonusers bid on a JUUL kit. Results: We find that a 10 % increase in price leads to as much as a 24 % reduction in JUUL demand among teens using nicotine, and as much as a 45 % reduction among teens not currently using nicotine. The teens in our study were more price sensitive than older adults who took part in a similar earlier study. Conclusions: From a public health standpoint, these are promising results. High e-cigarette taxes may dissuade relatively few older adult cigarette smokers from switching to e-cigarettes, but at the same time be highly effective at preventing teens from becoming e-cigarette users in the first place.