Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Jia Gao


The Effects of E-Cigarette Policies on Adult Tobacco Use


The United States has been combating smoking by increasing taxes on tobacco products, limiting advertising, and raising the age limits for buying tobacco products. The effectiveness of these strategies has resulted in years of declining U.S. smoking rates; however, in most recent years the sales of e-cigarettes have increased dramatically. Calling the surge in e-cigarettes an epidemic, the head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering the removal of all flavored e-cigarettes from the U.S. market because of their appeal. Individual states have now adopted various e-cigarette policies in order to combat e-cigarette usage. This paper explores the effect of the following e-cigarette policies on adult tobacco consumption: prohibitions on e-cigarette use and conventional tobacco smoking indoors in restaurants, bars, and worksites; requirements for a retail license to sell e-cigarettes; restrictions on e-cigarette self-service displays (e.g., requirement that products be kept behind the counter or in a locked box); and application of an excise tax for e-cigarettes. I use data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) between the years 2010-2017 and employ a dynamic difference-in-differences method to examine the effect of the e-cigarette policies on adult tobacco usage. I find that an excise tax on e-cigarettes leads to a 0.8 percentage point decrease in the likelihood of smoking every day and a 0.2 percentage point decrease in the likelihood that respondents have attempted to stop smoking.