Baptists, Bootleggers & Electronic Cigarettes

49 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2015

See all articles by Jonathan H. Adler

Jonathan H. Adler

Case Western Reserve University School of Law; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Innovation; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Roger E. Meiners

University of Texas at Arlington

Bruce Yandle

Clemson University; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: October 29, 2015

Abstract

Electronic cigarettes pose a competitive threat to the makers of cigarettes and other tobacco products, as well as to nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine gum and patches. A common response to such a threat is support for government regulation to suppress competition. Predictably, cigarette manufacturers and other threatened producers, as well as the governments that earn revenue from tobacco taxes, are supporting greater regulation of electronic cigarettes that would replicate the cartel-supporting rules of the Master Settlement Agreement. These efforts are aided by anti-smoking organizations that would like to prevent the growth of demand for electronic cigarettes. This episode allows application of the Bootlegger and Baptist theory of regulation. Groups with divergent interests have aligned in support of cartelizing regulation of electronic cigarettes. As with other episodes of Bootlegger and Baptist coalitions, it is unclear whether the resulting policies will serve the public interest. There is evidence that electronic cigarettes pose substantially lower health risks than traditional cigarettes and may help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco consumption. Therefore, insofar as regulation restricts electronic cigarettes, it may undermine public health.

Keywords: tobacco regulation, electronic cigarettes, Baptists and Bootleggers, health regulation

JEL Classification: K23, K32

Suggested Citation

Adler, Jonathan H. and Morriss, Andrew P. and Meiners, Roger E. and Yandle, Bruce, Baptists, Bootleggers & Electronic Cigarettes (October 29, 2015). Yale Journal on Regulation, Forthcoming; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-21. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2683583

Jonathan H. Adler (Contact Author)

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-2535 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.jhadler.net

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Innovation ( email )

1249 TAMU / 645 Lamar St.
College Station, TX 77843
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

Roger E. Meiners

University of Texas at Arlington ( email )

415 S West St Apt no 205
Arlington, TX 76013
United States

Bruce Yandle

Clemson University ( email )

101 Sikes Ave
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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