Public Policy and Youth Smokeless Tobacco Use
While much is known about the effects of prices and tobacco control policies on cigarette smoking, relatively little is known about their impact on smokeless tobacco use. This paper addresses these issues using data on smokeless tobacco use by adolescent males taken from the 1992, 1993, and 1994 Monitoring the Future Surveys. Site-specific smokeless tobacco tax data and several measures of limits on youth access to tobacco products are added to the survey data. Ordered probit methods are used to examine the impact of prices and tobacco control policies on the frequency of smokeless tobacco use among young males. Comparable two-part models are estimated for participation in smokeless tobacco use and for conditional smokeless tobacco demand. The estimates indicate that increases in smokeless tobacco taxes would lead to significant reductions in both the number of young men using smokeless tobacco and in the frequency of smokeless tobacco use. The average estimated price elasticity of smokeless tobacco participation for adolescent males is -0.40, while the overall average estimated price elasticity of demand is -0.65. In addition, strong limits on youth access to smokeless tobacco products are found to be effective in reducing both participation in smokeless tobacco use and the frequency of smokeless tobacco use by young males.