April 2017 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, Flavors (including Menthol), Health Warnings, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Non-Tax Price Increases, Product Availability, Tobacco21, Youth

Welcome to CounterTobacco.org’s “News and Research Roundup!” Each month we post a summary of the latest research, reports, and news stories on counteracting tobacco product sales and marketing at the point of sale (POS). Keeping up with what’s happening in the POS movement all across the country can help you choose policies and strategies that work best for your community. New research can help provide support for your work and evidence for the importance of the “War in the Store.” Have a story you don’t want us to miss? E-mail it to us!

New Research

Cigarette Packaging and Labels

One of the 9 graphic health warning labels proposed by the FDA in 2011

Tobacco Use Disparities

Product Classification

  • Changes in the Mass-merchandise Cigar Market since the Tobacco Control Act, Tobacco Regulatory Science
    LCCs with nondescript or “concept” flavors
    • While the 2009 Tobacco Control Act banned flavored cigarettes, and required cigarettes to be sold in packs of at least 20, no such regulations were put in place for cigars. Researchers tracked sales data from convenience stores from 2008 to 2015, and they found that cigar companies may have leveraged the newly prohibited features in cigarettes to maximize their profits in other products. Flavored cigar sales increased by nearly 50% since 2008, and now make up over half of the cigar market. Fruit remains the most popular flavor group, but the sale of nondescript flavors such as “Jazz” and “Green” has grown substantially. Inexpensive 2- and 3-packs made up less than 1% of cigar sales in 2008, but by 2015 this packaging style held 40% of the market share. Black & Mild and Swisher Sweets dominate the convenience store channel and together are responsible for nearly 60% of total mass-merchandise cigar sales.
  • Flavour chemicals in a sample of non-cigarette tobacco products without explicit flavor names sold in New York City in 2015, Tobacco Control
    • An analysis of 16 tobacco products purchased in NYC in 2015 that did not have explicit flavor names (but were labeled with descriptors such as “blue” or “royale”) found that 14 out of the 16 had flavor chemical levels higher than products labeled with a flavor (such as “peach” or “grape”). The researchers conclude that the tobacco industry has renamed flavored products to avoid identifying them as such. They also suggest that the FDA require that all tobacco products indicate when flavorings are present above a set level, which local jurisdictions could then use to enforce sales restrictions on flavored tobacco products.
    • Learn more about flavored tobacco products.


New Reports

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media


The sale of menthol cigarettes may soon be prohibited in San Francisco

Flavored Tobacco

Tobacco 21

Find more stories in last month’s News and Research Roundup.

Know of a story that we missed? Email us, and we’ll be sure to include it in next month’s roundup!


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