The Effect of E-Cigarette Taxes on Pre-Pregnancy and Prenatal Smoking, and Birth Outcomes
NBER Working Paper No. 26126
We use the universe of birth records in the United States from 2013 to 2017 to examine the effect of e-cigarette taxes on pre-pregnancy smoking, prenatal smoking, and birth outcomes (birth weight, gestational length, and Apgar 5 score). We apply a differences-in-differences model to study these questions. We have two principle findings. First, e-cigarette tax adoption increases pre-pregnancy and prenatal smoking, implying that e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes are substitutes among pregnant women. Second, in line with clinical literature suggesting that both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes are harmful to developing fetuses, birth outcomes are largely unchanged following adoption of an e-cigarette tax. In sum, our results suggest that e-cigarettes reduce prenatal smoking, but have no observable benefit towards the goal of promoting fetal development.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w26126