NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effect of E-Cigarette Minimum Legal Sale Age Laws on Traditional Cigarette Use and Birth Outcomes among Pregnant Teenagers

Michael F. Pesko, Janet M. Currie

NBER Working Paper No. 22792
Issued in November 2016, Revised in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Children, Health Economics

We use United States birth record data to estimate the effect of e-cigarette minimum legal sale age laws on cigarette use and birth outcomes for pregnant teenagers. While these laws may have reduced e-cigarette use, we hypothesize that these laws may have also increased cigarette use during pregnancy by making it more difficult to use e-cigarettes to reduce/quit smoking. We use cross-sectional and panel data models to find that e-cigarette minimum legal sale age laws increase underage pregnant teenagers’ smoking by 2.1 percentage points. The laws may have also modestly improved select birth outcomes, perhaps by reducing overall nicotine exposure from vaping and smoking combined.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22792

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