The Effect of ENDS Taxes on Substance Use
March 4 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am EST
Featured speaker: Dhaval Dave, Professor, Bentley, NBER
Dhaval Dave is Stanton Research Professor in the Department of Economics at Bentley University, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics. He was also a John M. Olin Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, after completing his Ph.D. in Economics from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Dr. Dave’s research focuses on the analysis of public policy and on the economics of health outcomes and behaviors, health insurance, and human capital. His papers have been published in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, and his research has also been featured in congressional testimony, and widely cited in the popular media including in the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Time, Newsweek, U.S. News and World Report, MSNBC, CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC, CNBC, NPR. His current work includes studies on the minimum wage, welfare reform in the U.S., tobacco control policy and vaping, opioid prescribing, the Affordable Care Act, and COVID-targeted interventions.
Details: Public health advocates warn that the rapid growth of legal markets for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) may generate a “gateway” to marijuana and harder drug consumption, particularly among teenagers. This study is the first to explore the effects of ENDS taxes on substance use. Using data from five national datasets (State and National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and Treatment Episode Dataset) spanning the period 2000-2019, and a generalized difference-in-differences approach, we find that a one-dollar increase in ENDS taxes (2019$) is associated with a 1-to-2 percentage point decline in teen marijuana use and a 0.8 percentage point reduction in adult marijuana use. This result is consistent with e-cigarettes and marijuana being economic complements. We find no evidence that ENDS taxes affect drug treatment admissions or consumption of illicit drugs other than marijuana such as cocaine, methamphetamine, or opioids over this sample period.