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Flavored tobacco policy resource center

Flavor Map & Quarterly Update

Local flavored tobacco policies (as of March 31, 2022)

5/31/2022

This resource presents a quarterly breakdown on the current state of U.S. jurisdictions with policies on flavored tobacco products.

Map of localities with flavored tobacco policies (as of March 31, 2022)

5/31/2022

Map of flavor policies across the US (updated quarterly).

Reports/Publications

The impact of two state-level approaches to restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products

9/22/2022

While Massachusetts' comprehensive flavored tobacco policy reduced flavored tobacco product sales significantly, New Jersey only saw a significant decrease in per capita sales of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes and saw cigar sales in "other" flavors nearly quadruple after implementing its partial flavored tobacco product sales restriction.

Impact of Massachusetts law prohibiting flavored tobacco products sales on cross-border cigarette sales

9/13/2022

The Massachusetts law prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol, in June 2020 had no significant impact on cigarette sales in bordering states that did not have such policies in place.

Local restrictions on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products

5/31/2022

Sales restrictions on all flavored tobacco products, including all types of menthol products, are gaining momentum at the local and state level. By the end of 2019, 274 localities placed restrictions on flavored tobacco products, and of those, 88 have comprehensive bans on menthol products which are sometimes exempted from flavor policies.

Evaluation of Statewide Restrictions on Flavored E-Cigarette Sales in the US from 2014 to 2020

2/10/2022

A review of e-cigarette retail sales from 2014 to 2020 found that state restrictions on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes in Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington saw a reduction in total e-cigarette sales.

Statements/News Updates/Fact Sheets

FDA’S first marketing denial orders on menthol e-cigarettes underscore substantial risks menthol and flavored products pose to youth and young adults

10/27/2022

FDA’s marketing denial order for Logic menthol-flavored e-cigarettes is a critical step in the right direction to protect youth from the health risks presented by flavored e-cigarettes. Truth Initiative urges the FDA to complete its review of all remaining e-cigarette applications and swiftly remove all flavored tobacco products, including menthol from the market.

FDA Denies Marketing of Logic’s Menthol E-Cigarette Products Following Determination They Do Not Meet Public Health Standard

10/26/2022

In its first decision on menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, the FDA issued a marketing denial order for multiple Logic e-cigarette products, stating that there was insufficient evidence to support that the product’s benefit to adult smokers would outweigh risks to youth.

3 lessons on preventing loopholes in flavored tobacco restrictions

7/6/2022

To prevent loopholes in the FDA’s proposed rules to remove menthol and flavored cigars from the market, the FDA’s rules should include (1) swift finalization and implementation, (2) comprehensive rules to block engineering and marketing tactics, and (3) no exemptions or substitutions to the rules against menthol and flavored cigars, which should also be implemented closely together.

US Food and Drug Administration Action on Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars—A Pivotal Moment for Health Equity

6/6/2022

FDA’s proposed bans on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars can help to address the impact of decades of big tobacco targeting of marginalized and youth communities and should be implemented as soon as possible alongside culturally appropriate tobacco prevention and cessation resources.

In yet another delay that leaves kids at risk, FDA tells court it won’t finish reviewing e-cigarette marketing applications until June 2023

5/19/2022

The FDA announced that it will not finish its review of marketing applications for the most popular e-cigarette products until June 2023 and will only finish reviewing 56% of applications by the end of 2022. Until the FDA completes its review and clears the market of all flavored e-cigarettes, youth will remain at risk.

FDA proposed rules to eliminate menthol cigarettes & flavored cigars will protect youth, save countless lives, end needless disease, and fight health inequities in America

4/28/2022

Truth Initiative applauds the Food & Drug Administration’s historic steps to remove menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars from the marketplace and urges the agency to protect against tobacco industry efforts to exploit loopholes and skirt the law through clever product engineering or marketing tactics. The public should also be wary of the tobacco industry and paid spokespeople to delay and obstruct action addressing this monumental public health issue.

Menthol: Facts, stats and regulations

4/22/2022

A comprehensive factsheet details the history, marketing, health effects, patterns of use, and policy environment of menthol tobacco products.

FDA’s announcement on Logic’s e-cigarette products underscores urgent need for decisions on top e-cigarette brands comprising 75% of the market and should include menthol flavors

3/25/2022

The FDA’s decision to approve Logic Vapes, which comprise less than 1% of the e-cigarette market, underscores the urgent need to address still pending applications of leading e-cigarette brands. Decisions are especially critical for e-cigarettes that come in menthol, a flavor favored by 30% of young people who use e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes: Facts, stats and regulations

6/15/2021

A comprehensive factsheet on e-cigarettes assesses the history, marketing, health effects, and patterns of use of these rapidly-evolving nicotine-containing products that have played an important role in initiating a new generation to tobacco use. The factsheet also summarizes the e-cigarette policy environment and calls for tighter policy regulations on both state and federal levels.

Case Studies

Youth Perspectives on Menthol Sales Restrictions in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota

10/19/2022

After Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota restricted the sale of menthol tobacco products in 2018 to advance health equity in communities adversely affected by menthol, researchers ran focus groups with 14-17-year-olds recruited from community-based organizations that work with LGBTQ youth and youth of color to determine impact of the policies. Youth reported that many tobacco users in their age group obtain tobacco informally through peers, family members, and online and that e-cigarettes and online advertising were more significant issues than retail advertising for their age group.

Expanding local sales restrictions on flavored tobacco products to include menthol: retail sales changes in two Minnesota cities

7/28/2022

An expansion of local sales restrictions in Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota to prohibit menthol flavors led to decreases in unit sales of menthol cigarettes and menthol smokeless tobacco in both cities. Total unit sales of all tobacco products were also reduced significantly but observed increases in sales of menthol and flavored e-cigarettes points to a need for further retailer education and policy enforcement.

Voices from the Field: Implementation and Enforcement of Retail Point-of-Sale Tobacco Policies by Community Partners

1/1/2021

In January 2012, Providence, Rhode Island became the first city in the state to adopt the Rhode Island Model Tobacco Policy (RIMTP), which was implemented the following year. Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Tobacco Control Program staff held informal meetings with community partners to learn about their experiences with retail observations and retailer education. In addition, one enforcement officer for the City of Providence participated in a semi-structured interview covering these and other topics. These conversations provided opportunities to discuss successes and challenges, lessons learned, and recommendations for future work. This document summarizes those voices from the field, which may offer insight to an increasing number of localities across the U.S. that are working on point-of-sale tobacco control efforts.

“Because there's just something about that menthol”: Exploring African American Smokers’ Perspectives on Menthol Smoking and Local Menthol Sales Restrictions

8/22/2020

There is growing momentum to restrict local menthol tobacco sales; however, little is known about perceptions among populations most impacted. In Minneapolis-St. Paul, where menthol restrictions were passed in 2017, African American smokers expressed limited awareness and uneven policy support. While some participants were unconvinced the restriction would impact smoking, others indicated it would encourage decreased consumption and prompt quit attempts.

Local sales restrictions significantly reduce the availability of menthol tobacco: findings from four Minnesota cities

7/23/2020

The majority of stores in several Minnesota cities that restricted the sale of menthol tobacco to adult-only stores complied with the policy. However, challenges to policy adherence - including converting convenience stores into tobacco shops, exemptions for menthol tobacco, and tobacco advertisements remaining visible in liquor stores - underscore the need for continued monitoring and enforcement action.

How Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth and Falcon Heights are Implementing Menthol Tobacco Restrictions Experiences from Minnesota

1/1/2020

Several cities in Minnesota passed policies that restricted the sale of menthol tobacco products to adult-only stores to reduce the number of outlets where these products are available, prevent young people from being exposed to tobacco industry marketing, and encourage adults to quit. The ordinances successfully decreased availability of menthol, reducing the number of outlets in the four cities that sell menthol products by 62 to 100 percent.

Community-led Action to Reduce Menthol Cigarette Use in the African American Community

1/17/2019

In May 2015, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation requiring the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to fund a one-time grant of $200,000. The grant aimed to engage the African American community to address the disproportionately high use of cigarettes by African Americans, particularly the use of menthol-flavored cigarettes. Funding for this grant came from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP). The grant required that the awardee partner with a community-based organization. MDH recommended that the awarded SHIP grantee direct 70 percent of the funding to community activities through a sub-grant to an African American community-based organization.

No More Flavors: A Case Study Addressing Flavored Tobacco in San Francisco

8/1/2018

In 2017, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a policy that prohibits the sale and distribution of flavored tobacco products, including mentholated cigarettes. San Francisco’s Flavored Tobacco Sale policy aims to eliminate youth access to flavored tobacco products and reduce the disproportionate impact of flavored tobacco on communities of color. At the time of the policy’s adoption, San Francisco was the only municipality to have adopted a comprehensive policy that limits flavored tobacco sales at a citywide level.

External Resources

African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council

AATCLC educates the public about the effects of tobacco on the Black community by highlighting the predatory marketing tactics employed by the tobacco industry and emphasizing the need to regulate all flavored tobacco products (including menthol). Resources include videos, news updates and a curriculum (by request) on the history of tobacco industry influence on Black Lives and Black Lungs.

The Center for Black Health & Equity

CFBH works to facilitate the implementation and promotion of comprehensive policies, community-led programs and culturally competent public health campaigns that benefit people of African descent. This resource provides fact sheets, reports, podcasts and social media creatives that focus on issues ranging from tobacco control to health disparities that disproportionately impact the black community such as diabetes, heart disease and mental health.

Public Health Law Center

The Public Health Law Center, a national public interest legal resource center dedicated to improving health through the power of law and policy, provides a number of resources on regulating flavored commercial tobacco products at the federal, state, and local levels, including policy considerations for addressing menthol tobacco products, examples from select U.S. jurisdictions that restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products, and practical guides on adopting and implementing flavored tobacco product policies.

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

CTFK is the leading advocacy organization working to reduce tobacco use and its deadly consequences in the United States and around the world. This site includes a searchable CTFK library of U.S. Resources by state or issue, including fact sheets on fighting flavored tobacco on both the federal and state/local levels.

National Native Network 

The National Native Network provides a forum for tribal organizations and American Indian/Alaska Native stakeholders to obtain and disseminate evidence-based and culturally relevant resources that aim to decrease tobacco-related health disparities among American Indian/Alaska Native communities across North America. Resources also include best practice tools for commercial tobacco and cancer prevention and control programs, and technical assistance in policy implementation, enforcement, and evaluation.

National Indian Health Board

The National Indian Health Board is a national non-profit organization established by tribes, that represents tribal governments by providing the tribal perspective on Capitol Hill related to federal legislation and regulations. They provide a number of resources to tribes, tribal organizations, federal agencies, and private foundations such as advocacy, policy formation and analysis, legislative and regulatory tracking, research on Indian health issues, program development and assessment, and training and technical assistance.

CDC Foundation

The CDC Foundation’s Monitoring E-Cigarette Use Among Youth project aims to augment existing national- and state-level surveillance activities related to youth tobacco product use in the US. The project includes several aims with available resources.