A Comprehensive Approach to Tobacco Policy in the Age of E-Cigarettes

The research team is estimating the impact of combustible cigarette (CC) and electronic cigarette (EC) policies on the selection and use of tobacco products. To further population health, tobacco regulations should serve two aims simultaneously: reducing tobacco use overall and leading those who do use to choose lower risk tobacco products over higher risk ones. The investigators are studying how several different types of tobacco policies currently being implemented at state and local levels impact both EC and CC use. Findings from this work will better equip regulators to make evidence-based policy decisions that account for both the policies’ different effects on CC versus EC use, and these products’ different risk profiles.  


Local tobacco-21 policies yield a substantive reduction in smoking among 18 to 20 year-olds living in metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. This finding provides empirical support for efforts to raise the tobacco purchasing age to 21 as a means to reduce young adult smoking. Moreover, it suggests that state laws preempting local tobacco-21 policies may impede public health.

Smoke-free worksite laws lead to reductions in current smoking, increases in smoking cessation, and decreases in recent vaping. However, adding vaping restrictions to these laws may have actually reduced the impact of the law on current smoking among 18 to 25 year-olds.


CC use, EC use, and any tobacco use


All regressions use difference-in-differences specifications, identifying the relevant policy’s impacts on each tobacco-use behavior, comparing outcomes in geographic areas that did versus did not implement the policy in question, pre- versus post-policy change. Simulation methods are applied to clarify the expected effects of different policy-combinations.

hands holding a cigarette and vaporizer
Grantee and Partner organizations

Yale School of Public Health, Health Policy and Management Department

Grant status
In Progress
Principal investigators
Abigail Friedman, PhD
Start date
Award amount
36 months

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