April 2024 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, Flavors (including Menthol)

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

Point of Sale Policy Evaluation 

  • Associations between tobacco 21 and state flavour restrictions with young adult tobacco use, Tobacco Control 
    • This study used 2011-2022 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data and policy data from across the United States to assess the associations between state tobacco 21 (T21) policies, the federal T21 policy, and state policies restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products on use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco. The federal T21 policy was associated with lower use of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco across age groups by 0.39-0.92 percentage points. Researchers note that the reach into older age groups shows a “spillover” effect of the policy beyond young adults.  They found that state T21 laws, especially in combination with the federal T21 law,  were associated with lower cigarette and e-cigarette use among young adults, though not tobacco use overall. State policies restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products were associated with lower use of both cigarettes  and e-cigarettes by 0.56 – 0.63 percentage points. 
    • Learn more about Tobacco 21 policies and about flavored tobacco products

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products 

  • Sociodemographic and temporal differences in menthol cigarette use among US adults who smoke, 1999 – 2018, Preventing Chronic Disease 
    • Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1999-2018 show the prevalence of menthol use has risen 3.8% annually on average, from 22.9% in 1999-2002 to 35.9% in 2015-2018. Non-Hispanic Black adults had the highest average prevalence of menthol cigarette use at 73.0%, a rate 3.3 times higher than White adults. Rates of use increased a greater amount per year among Mexican American adults (7.1% annually on average) and among adults with fair or poor health status (4.3% annually on average). Use of menthol cigarettes was also more likely among younger adults than older adults, among female adults than male adults, and those with a high school diploma or higher education level than among those that did not graduate high school. 
    • Learn more about menthol 

Point of Sale Advertising 

  • Racial/ethnic disparities in exposure to e-cigarette advertising among U.S. youth, Public Health 
    • Data from two nationally representative panels of youth ages 13-17 that asked youth about their self-reported exposure to e-cigarette advertisements in the past 3 months show that in both 2018 and 2019, the point of sale was the most common source of e-cigarette advertisement exposure. However, significant racial/ethnic disparities in exposure also existed, with non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic Asian youth reporting greater exposure to e-cigarette ads through television and through online/social media channels than non-Hispanic White youth. 
    • Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
  • Patterns in tobacco, e-cigarette, and cannabis advertising exposure among California adolescents with future use expectations, Substance Use & Misuse 
    • This study assessed if and how often adolescents ages 12-17 across California recalled seeing advertisements for tobacco, e-cigarettes/vapes, and/or cannabis/marijuana in the past 30 days. Researchers found that 65.9% of adolescents saw at least one ad for one of these substances, with 52.5% seeing an ad for tobacco, 51.5% for vapes, and 45.6% for marijuana. Participants were most commonly reported seeing ads for tobacco or vapes at gas stations or convenience stores while they most commonly saw ads for marijuana on billboards. Those who had never used the substances but reported seeing ads for them were also more likely to be susceptible to future use of those substances.  


  • Should tobacco sales be restricted to state-run alcohol outlets? Perspectives from 10 US alcohol control states, Addiction 
    • Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with tobacco control advocates and professionals, public health officials, alcohol policy experts and alcohol control system representatives, and tribal community representatives in ten states with alcohol beverage control (ABC) systems to get their perspectives on their state’s ABC agency and the idea of transitioning tobacco sales (TTS) to only state-controlled alcohol stores. Based on the findings, researchers conclude that such a policy, “could have a positive public health impact by reducing tobacco availability, marketing exposure and, ultimately, tobacco use. However, tensions exist between alcohol control system goals of providing revenue to the state and protecting public health. Should a state decide to pursue TTS, several guardrails should be established, including building into the legislation an explicit goal of reducing tobacco consumption.” 


New Reports and Resources 

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density 


Nicotine Pouches 



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

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