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Flavored Tobacco Policy Resources

Menthol Mint and Ice Flavored vapes

Why flavored tobacco is an important issue

Flavors play an important role in addicting youth and young adults to commercial tobacco products. Flavored products are easier to start and more difficult to quit. Although the Food and Drug Administration has the ability to remove all flavored tobacco products, it has been slow to take action. In April 2022, the FDA announced proposed rules to remove menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars from the market, although the proposed rules do not address menthol e-cigarettes popular with youth. FDA has yet to complete its review of e-cigarette marketing applications, including those for many menthol and other flavored e-cigarette products, and has allowed these products to remain on the market while it completes its reviews.

Given that the FDA has historically taken years to act when it comes to regulating flavored tobacco, and that the rules on menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars could take months to years to finalize and implement, many states and localities across the country chose not to wait for federal action to protect their citizens and have enacted restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products. For example, the state of California enacted a ban on flavored tobacco in fall 2022 after years of delay tactics by the tobacco industry.

This flavored tobacco resource center provides information that advances the science and shares the experiences of cities and states that took action to implement flavored tobacco policy restrictions and their impact.

The state of US flavor policies

Sales restrictions on all flavored tobacco products, including all types of menthol products, are gaining momentum at the local and state level. As of September 30, 2023, 398 jurisdictions and 3 Native American tribes have placed some type of restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco products. Of those, 127 have comprehensive policies that prohibit sales of all types of flavors across all products, including menthol and/or mint tobacco products that are sometimes exempted from flavor policies, at all retailers.

Our latest work on flavors

Truth Initiative focuses significant research, education and engagement efforts on flavored tobacco products, including developing reports and resources on the impact of these products, conducting prevention campaigns and community outreach and calling on the Food and Drug Administration to take needed actions to protect youth.

Menthol Mint and Ice Flavored vapes
“I’m assuming it has a minty taste”: Young smokers’ reactions to ads for new non-menthol cigarettes in California and Massachusetts

cigars neon sign
The effect of state and local flavored cigar sales restrictions, on retail sales of large cigars, cigarillos and little cigars in Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and New York

Elf bar hyde and candy
Young e-cigarette users report widespread use of flavor blends and “concept” flavors like Iced Mango, Blue Dream, and OMG

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