Springer Nature

The impact of two state-level approaches to restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products

Posted on 2022-09-23 - 03:26
Abstract Background Flavored tobacco products are highly appealing to youth. The Federal government lacks a comprehensive flavored tobacco products policy and states have adopted different approaches restricting these products. This study analyzes the impact of Massachusetts’ comprehensive prohibition and New Jersey’s partial restriction on the sale of flavored tobacco products. Methods NielsenIQ Retail Scanner data were used to construct four log per capita dependent variables: e-liquid milliliters, cigarette packs, cigars, and smokeless tobacco ounces for products flavored as fruit, menthol, mint, tobacco and other. All models used difference-in-differences regressions, with Virginia and Pennsylvania serving as controls. The models controlled for state level product prices, population percentages by race/ethnicity, proportion male, median household income, unemployment rate, minimum legal sales age, tobacco 21 policies, and cumulative cases and deaths of COVID-19; the models accounted for time-specific factors by using 4-week period fixed-effects. Results There was a significant decrease in sales across all flavored tobacco products in Massachusetts, including fruit [-99.83%, p < 0.01], menthol [-98.33%, p < 0.01], and all other flavored [-99.28%, p < 0.01] e-cigarettes. The cigar group “all other-flavors" [-99.92%, p < 0.01] and menthol flavored cigarettes [-95.36%, p < 0.01] also significantly decreased. In New Jersey, there was a significant decrease in per capita sales of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes [-83.80%, p < 0.05] and cigar group “all other-flavors" experienced a significant increase in per capita sales [380.66%, p < 0.01]. Conclusions This study contributes to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the impact of sales prohibitions on reducing sales of flavored tobacco products. Statewide comprehensive approaches appear more effective than partial restrictions and should be prioritized. Implications Results from this study support emerging research that demonstrates the promising effects of comprehensive flavoring sales prohibitions. This study can be used to inform future flavored tobacco product policy solutions developed by advocates and policy makers to curb overall tobacco initiation and use by youth and adults.


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