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Prices and e-cigarette demand: evidence from the European Union.


Michal Stoklosa, Jeffrey Drope, Frank J Chaloupka

Type: Article
Region: Republic of Ireland
Northern Ireland

INTRODUCTION Many European Union (EU) Member States have expressed the need for EU legislation to clarify the issue of e-cigarette taxation, but the economic evidence to inform creation of such policies has been lacking. To date, only one study - on the U.S. only - has examined responsiveness of e-cigarette demand to price changes. METHODS We used 2011-2014 pooled time-series data on e-cigarette sales as well as e-cigarette and cigarette prices for six EU markets (Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, and the United Kingdom). We utilized static and dynamic fixed-effects models to estimate the own and cross-price elasticity of demand for e-cigarettes. In a separate model for Sweden, we examined the effects of snus prices on e-cigarette sales. RESULTS Based on static models, every 10% increase in e-cigarette prices is associated with a drop in e-cigarettes sales of approximately 8.2%, while based on dynamic models, the drop is 2.7% in the short run and 11.5% in the long run. Combustible cigarette prices are positively associated with sales of e-cigarettes. Snus prices are positively associated with sales of e-cigarettes in Sweden. CONCLUSIONS Our results indicate that the sales of e-cigarettes are responsive to price changes, which suggests that excise taxes can help governments to mitigate an increase in e-cigarette use. E-cigarettes and regular cigarettes are substitutes, with higher cigarette prices being associated with increased e-cigarette sales. Making combustible cigarettes more expensive compared to e-cigarettes could be effective in moving current combustible smokers to e-cigarettes, which might have positive health effects.



Rights: Public
Suggested citation:

Michal Stoklosa, Jeffrey Drope, Frank J Chaloupka. (2016) Prices and e-cigarette demand: evidence from the European Union. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 12th November 2019].


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