The cost of e-cigarettes remains higher than the cost of combustible cigarettes in many countries, according to recent research.
“For policymakers and advocates who aim to persuade combustible cigarette smokers to switch to e-cigarettes, this finding provides a strong logical explaining why some smokers currently resist switching products: switching would hurt their finances,” Alex C. Liber, MSPH, from the department of health management & policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor, Mich., and colleagues wrote in their study.
Liber and colleagues evaluated the price of combustible cigarettes, disposable e-cigarettes and rechargeable cigarettes in 45 different countries, according to the abstract. Using World Bank classifications, the researchers sought to determine whether prices were different in high-income, middle-income and low-income countries.
In almost every country, the researchers found combustible cigarettes cost less than disposable e-cigarettes after adjusting prices for comparable units, according to the abstract. They also noted that the initial price of purchasing a rechargeable e-cigarette creates a significant cost barrier, even if the cost of the e-liquids consumed in the rechargeable e-cigarette cost less overall than combustible cigarettes.
“If policymakers wish to explore differentially lower taxation of e-cigarettes seriously, forceful policy action—almost certainly through excise taxation—must raise the price of combustible cigarettes beyond the price of using e-cigarettes,” Liber and colleagues wrote. “If the price of the products are at least equal, it might make it that much more attractive for combustible cigarette users to switch to e-cigarettes.” – by Jeff Craven
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.