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The use of flavour cards and other additives after a menthol ban in Canada
  1. Michael O Chaiton1,2,
  2. Robert Schwartz1,
  3. Joanna E Cohen3,
  4. Eric Soule4,
  5. Bo Zhang1,
  6. Thomas Eissenberg5
  1. 1 Ontario Tobacco Research Unit, University of Toronto, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Institute for Global Tobacco Control, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  4. 4 East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA
  5. 5 Psychology, Center for the Study of Tobacco Products, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Michael O Chaiton, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, M5S 2S1, Canada; michael.chaiton{at}

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In Canada, where bans on menthol have been implemented in the province of Ontario since January 2017 and across Canada since October 2017, products that can be used to add menthol flavour to non-mentholated tobacco such as flavour cards and menthol drops are available in stores, including the brand ‘Itsa’, which is distributed by a cigar company. These products can easily add menthol flavour by either placing the card or drops with the tobacco or in the package as a way of circumventing the ban. However, in Ontario, it appears that no major cigarette manufacturers had produced or advertised these flavour additives.1 The purpose of this letter is to examine the changes in use of after-market menthol additives after the menthol ban in Ontario.


Current (past month) cigarette smokers aged 16+ living in Ontario were surveyed …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to editing and intellectual contributions to interpretation. MOC conceived the idea, conducted the analysis and drafted the letter. All authors contributed towards study design.

  • Funding This research was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number P50DA036105 and the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the NIH Office of the Director under 1R21DA047358-01. The effort of TE, JEC and ES is also supported by NIDA and CTP/FDA under U54DA036105.

  • Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH or the FDA.

  • Competing interests TE is a paid consultant in litigation against the tobacco industry and is named on a patent application for a device that measures the puffing behaviour of electronic cigarette users.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.