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Open Access An Economic Analysis of the Pre-Deeming US Market for Nicotine Vaping Products

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Objectives: Public health policies are often enacted without adequate consideration of the existing market structure or their impacts on that market structure. This paper provides context for the potential impact of regulations on nicotine vaping products (NVP) use by providing a structural analysis of competition in the US NVP market before FDA regulation. Methods: We conducted a literature review with the aim of providing a framework for analysis that: (1) defines the market; (2) evaluates market concentration; (3) identifies entry barriers; and (4) examines firm conduct. Results: The NVP market includes retail, Internet sellers, and vape shops. Whereas conventional retail became more concentrated after the major cigarette companies entered the NVP market, the vape shop and Internet sectors remain substantially less concentrated, producing an overall low market concentration, with few entry barriers and competitive behavior. Conclusions: The largely unregulated US NVP market has been highly competitive, with a high degree of innovation. However, new FDA deeming regulations as applied to NVPs could make it difficult for smaller companies to remain in the market and could discourage new companies and new product innovations from entering the market.

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Keywords: E-CIGARETTE; INDUSTRY; MARKET COMPETITION; NICOTINE REGULATION; VAPING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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