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Flavored tobacco policy resource center

Flavor Map & Quarterly Update

Local flavored tobacco policies (as of December 31, 2021)

4/14/2022

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 December 31, 2021)

4/14/2022

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

Truth Initiative Fact Sheets/Reports

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.

Local restrictions on flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products

1/25/2022

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.

The EVALI outbreak and tobacco sales in the USA, 2014–2020

12/15/2021

E-cigarette sales fell 99% in Massachusetts after the state implemented a total ban on e-cigarettes following a 2019 outbreak of e-cigarette-related lung injuries and also found dramatic decreases in e-cigarette sales in states that implemented partial bans on all but tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes. Findings suggest that state-wide policies that restrict e-cigarette sales are an effective way to reduce youth use of e-cigarettes as the vaping epidemic continues.

A Comprehensive Qualitative Review of Studies Evaluating the Impact of Local US Laws Restricting the Sale of Flavored and Menthol Tobacco Products

9/15/2021

Sale restrictions on flavored and menthol tobacco products saw a reduction in youth and adult tobacco use. However, policy exemptions, challenges in implementation, tobacco industry actions, and consumer responses could have negated some of these efforts.

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.

Truth Initiative Statements/News Updates

As E-Cigarette Makers Face Critical September 9 Deadline, Leading Health Groups Urge FDA Not to Allow Sale of Any Flavored Products

8/10/2020

As manufacturers of e-cigarettes and certain other tobacco products face a September 9, 2020 deadline to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to keep their products on the market, six leading public health and medical organizations today urged the FDA not to authorize the sale of any flavored product given the overwhelming evidence that flavored products appeal to kids and the lack of evidence such products help smokers quit.

FDA Action on Disposable E-Cigarettes is a Strong Step Forward and Underscores Need for Comprehensive Regulation of All Types of Flavored Vaping Products

7/21/2020

We applaud the FDA’s action against the makers of Puff Bar, the e-cigarette wildly popular among teens, along with nine additional disposable e-cigarette manufacturers to remove their flavored disposable e-cigarettes and youth-appealing e-liquid products from the market for not having the required pre-market authorization.  Three firms received warning letters for illegally marketing disposable e-cigarettes: Puff Bar, HQD Tech USA LLC and Myle Vape Inc. Puff Bar and HQD Tech USA LLC were also cited for an additional violation for marketing their products as modified risk tobacco products without an FDA order in effect that permits such marketing. While a strong step in the right direction, these FDA warning letters are not a substitute for much needed comprehensive regulation that removes all types of flavored e-cigarettes and liquids, including mint and menthol, to protect our nation’s youth.

New Truth Initiative Study Finds JUUL Use Doubled in One Year as Tobacco and Nicotine Use Among Youth Reaches Highest Level in Decades

1/21/2020

The percentage of teens and young adults aged 15-34 who have ever used JUUL more than doubled between 2018 and 2019, according to a new Truth Initiative® study published today in JAMA Pediatrics, highlighting that JUUL continues to drive the youth e-cigarette epidemic. The percentage of current JUUL users who use the device regularly — on at least 10 of the last 30 days — increased to more than a third, from 26.1% of current JUUL users in 2018 to 37.6% in 2019. These findings are similar to those reported in the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey data showing that more than a quarter of high schoolers — 27.5% — are now vaping, up from 20.8% in 2018, with 21.4% vaping on a daily basis.

New study raises concerns that youth vaping nicotine may reverse declines in other drug use

1/15/2020

The dramatic drop in youth smoking since 2000 has led to declines in other drug use among young people, according to a new study that raises concerns about whether the rise of vaping nicotine could serve as a gateway to other drug use and reverse progress on both these fronts.

Case Studies

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.