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California was the second US state to adopt a law to end the sale of most flavoured tobacco products (including menthol) in August 2020.1 However, a tobacco industry front group submitted more than 625 000 validated signatures to challenge the law on a ballot referendum in November 2022. One hundred local laws that restrict sales of flavoured tobacco protected 22.1% of California’s population as of February 2021,2 3 and the state aims to increase this coverage. In addition, stronger support for the state-wide law is anticipated where local laws exist.4 Prior evidence of more advertising and lower prices for menthol cigarettes at stores in neighbourhoods with a greater proportion of black residents in California and in the USA suggests a history of predatory marketing.5–7 This secondary analysis tests whether these patterns persist in California. This research …
Contributors LH drafted the letter, NS conducted the analysis and all authors made critical revisions.
Funding This research was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute (#5R01-CA067850) and the California Department of Public Health (contract #17-10041).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.