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Tobacco control policies that restrict the sale of flavoured commercial tobacco products (‘flavor bans’) are becoming increasingly popular in the USA. Cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington DC, as well as the states of California and Massachusetts, have recently enacted restrictions on the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes. Because flavours play a major role in youth initiation of tobacco (improving product taste and appeal, masking harshness),1–8 flavour bans have strong potential to curb youth tobacco use. Indeed, flavour bans are associated with reduced adolescent and young adult use of the restricted flavoured products.9 In addition, given the disproportionate use of flavoured tobacco—especially menthol cigarettes—among historically marginalised populations, bans on menthol and other flavours in combustible tobacco products have the potential to promote health equity.10–13
Flavour bans would undoubtedly impact tobacco industry profits. Thus, it is no surprise that flavour bans have faced industry opposition.14–17 JUUL, in particular, has a documented history of …
Contributors MER and JGP conceptualised the paper. MER wrote the first draft. JGP, BLK-H, AKF, JMS and PJZ reviewed the draft and provided substantive comments. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.