Rising e-cigarette use among children and their exposure to second-hand smoke in cars have become significant public health challenges.
In this study, we will investigate the behavioral and health impacts of two Canadian health policies recently adopted to address these significant child health risks:
1) Provincial bans on smoking of combustible cigarettes and e-cigarettes inside private vehicles;
2) Provincial bans on the sale of e-cigarettes to children.
These policies have attracted substantial attention and debate in Canada and other countries. Yet, there is still little evidence on their effects.
This research will use state-of-the-art quasi-experimental methods with data from national surveys and administrative data to estimate the effects of the policies. The potential impacts of our proposed research on child health are broad and substantial. Given the high burdens of asthma and other respiratory diseases related to smoking and second-hand smoke exposure, even modest reductions in these outcomes could have substantial health benefits. Through establishing whether, and to what extent, these bans on smoking in cars and access to e-cigarettes to minors can improve health outcomes and generate economic benefits, our study will inform efforts to monitor, strengthen and fine-tune these current policies. As the federal government is considering a national e-cigarette policy (Bill S-5) that, among others, bans smoking in cars and sales of e-cigarettes to minors, evaluation of these provincial laws will also provide timely evidence to inform potential effectiveness of this federal legislation and guide its enforcement efforts.