How do users compare the costs between nicotine vaping products and cigarettes? Findings from the 2016-2020 International Tobacco Control United States surveys
He, Y., Liber, A.C., Driezen, P., Thompson, M.E., Levy, D.T., Fong, G.T., Cummings, K.M., Shang, C. (2024). How do users compare the costs between nicotine vaping products and cigarettes? Findings from the 2016-2020 International Tobacco Control United States surveys. Addiction, [Published online Jan 7, doi: 10.1111/add.16425].
Background and aims: Nicotine vaping products (NVPs) can potentially help adult tobacco users quit smoking. This study evaluated how adult consumers compare the costs between NVPs and cigarettes.
Method: We used data from the US arm of the 2016-2020 International Tobacco Control Four Country Smoking and Vaping (ITC 4CV) surveys to perform a multinomial logit model with two-way fixed effects to measure how perceived cost comparisons are associated with NVP and cigarette taxes, use patterns, NVP device types and individual sociodemographic factors.
Results: Higher cigarette taxes are associated with a greater likelihood of perceiving NVPs and cigarettes as costing the same for the overall population and among people who exclusively smoke, and a lower likelihood of perceiving NVPs as more expensive among people who exclusively vape, compared with lower cigarette taxes. Pre-filled cartridge and tank users are more likely to perceive NVPs as less expensive than cigarettes, compared with people who use other types of NVPs. The associations between taxes and perceived cost comparison were more pronounced among males, younger and low-income populations.
Conclusions: Higher cigarette taxes are associated with perceived financial incentives for nicotine vaping products (NVPs) over cigarettes, whereas NVP taxes are not associated with perceived cost comparison between NVPs and cigarettes.
Keywords: cigarette; cost comparison; device type; excise tax; nicotine vaping product (NVP); use frequency.