LAKEVILLE, Minn. —State legislatures are considering flavored tobacco product bans, and thus far, California and Massachusetts passed statewide bans. At the same time, there is an increasing number of local governments introducing sales bans on all flavored tobacco products.
Usually, policymakers have heard one side of the story, which generally focus everyone’s attention on underage youth using tobacco products with youth use of vaping products to suggest the solution is to ban all flavors for all products. Policymakers do not know that study after study has shown youth use of most tobacco products has fallen to historically low levels over the last 50 years.
Most tobacco products are not used by youth, but by 21 and older adults, in some cases adults well into their 50s. No concern is given for those consumers who choose vaping products, or other products the FDA has concluded are less risky, even though most of these products are flavored. Many policymakers also have no idea about the impacts on retailers, particularly during the pandemic and the lockdowns, along with the lost ability to sell many products because the FDA banned most flavored cartridge- and pod-based vaping products and products for which premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) were not filed with the agency by Sept. 9.
The following highlights activities in three cities currently considering local flavor bans.
A Phoenix councilmember expressed interest in several media reports for a full tobacco product flavor ban, including menthol