January 2024 News and Research Roundup

E-Cigarettes, Endgame, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Price Promotions, 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


Pricing Policies 

  • Cigarette prices and disparities in cessation in the United States, Nicotine & Tobacco Research 
    • While increasing cigarette prices has been one of the most effective strategies for lowering smoking rates, it remains unclear how effective it has been in encouraging cessation among adults. This study used cross-sectional data collected by the Tobacco Use Supplement of the Current Population Survey to investigate the relationship between cigarette prices and cessation from 2003 to 2019 in adults over the age of 25. Researchers found mixed support for associations between greater local prices and cessation, adding to the conflicting evidence on the effectiveness of increasing prices on smoking cessation among adults with established smoking patterns.
    • Learn more about increasing tobacco prices

Tobacco 21 

  • Tobacco 21 Laws and Youth Tobacco Use: The Role of Policy Attributes, American Journal of Public Health
    • Researchers analyzed the impact of various Tobacco 21 policies by comparing the percentage of state residents covered by a Tobacco 21 policy through June 2020 with cigarette, cigar, and e-cigarette use among 18-20-year-old youth in those areas. They found that while Tobacco 21 policy coverage was associated with lower youth use of cigarettes, cigars, and ENDS, the policies had a lesser impact with they included purchase, use, or possession penalties.
    • Learn more about Tobacco 21 policy best practices

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products 

  • California Law Did Little to Reduce Online Sales of Flavored Vapes to Minors, Research Finds, Medscape 
    • This study examined online sales of flavored e-cigarettes to minors in California. Researchers posed as minors and attempted to buy products from the websites of six leading e-cigarette brands and 20 vape vendors. These purchases were attempted both before and after SB 793 went into effect in December 2022 prohibiting retailers from selling flavored tobacco products. Researchers successfully completed a purchase for any of the flavored tobacco product types 12 times (out of 23 attempts) before SB 793 went into effect and 14 times (out of 23 attempts) after the law was enacted. When comparing the rates of completed purchases, researchers found that SB 793 did not seem to deter online retailers from selling flavored tobacco products. 
    • Learn more about flavored tobacco products. 

Endgame policies 

  • “I think we can do without [tobacco]”: support for policies to end tobacco epidemic among California adolescents, Tobacco Control 
    • This study used online surveys (n=4827) and focus groups conducted in 2021 and 2022 among California residents aged 12–17 years to measure support for endgame policies among adolescents. Survey participants were asked their agreement level with eight policy statements related to tobacco and/or cannabis sales restrictions, use in public places, and use in multiunit housing. A majority of survey participants expressed support for tobacco product sales restrictions, bans on use in public spaces, and smoke-free and vape-free (74%) apartment buildings. Support was stronger for policies aimed at ‘tobacco’, rather than ‘vapes’ or cannabis. Additionally, support was stronger for flavored tobacco (compared with all tobacco), and participants were more likely to support statements that used the phrase ‘should end’ rather than ‘not allow’. Concerns from less supportive adolescents included limitations on adults’ freedoms and unintended consequences. 
    • Learn more about endgame policies.
  • A narrative analysis of a tobacco industry campaign to disrupt Aotearoa New Zealand’s endgame policies, Tobacco Control 
    • After Aotearoa New Zealand passed world-leading legislation to implement tobacco endgame policies, British American Tobacco New Zealand and Imperial Brands Australasia attempted to undermine the policy via the ‘Save Our Stores’ (SOS) campaign, which purportedly represented small convenience store owners’ interests. This study used the Policy Dystopia Model as a framework to review the strategies employed in the SOS campaign. Researchers found that most strategies emphasized unanticipated costs to the economy and society and presented a near-apocalyptic future, including economic mayhem, thriving illicit trade, increased violent crime, fewer police, and heavier individual tax burdens.  These findings could inform counterarguments and help international policymakers and advocates anticipate opposition they may encounter when introducing endgame measures, such as reducing tobacco availability.
    • Learn more about end game policies.
  • Commentary: Short-term dollars at what cost? Repealing New Zealnd’s Smokefree Aotearoa 2025 plan would sacrifice lives and longer-term economic gain, Tobacco Control


  • Perceptions, intentions, and actual use of a consumer nicotine gum, Harm Reduction Journal
    • This study analyzed perceptions, use intentions, and behaviors of adults regarding nicotine gum that is marketed and regulated as a consumer product rather than as nicotine replacement therapy. Researchers surveyed adults who had never used a consumer nicotine gum. Among respondents, individuals who smoked with and without plans to quit showed high intention to try the product and persons who had never smoked showed low intentions to try, regardless of flavor. Only 0.6% of young adult consumers of the nicotine gum (aged 21–30) had not tried tobacco products previously. Researchers concluded that consumer nicotine gum does not appear to attract those who have never used a tobacco product and the results for young adults suggest minimal appeal to youth. 
  • Big tobacco’s dirty tricks: Seven key tactics of the tobacco industry, Tobacco Prevention & Cessation 
    • “Members of the Tobacco Control Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) reviewed the literature and conducted research into key tactics used by the tobacco industry, producing written reports on seven of these: 1) Tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship, 2) Front groups, 3) Manipulating the media, 4) Funding scientific research, 5) Political lobbying, 6) Electronic alternatives as ‘harm reduction’, and 7) Legal challenges.”

New Reports and Resources 

Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products 

Licensing, Zoning, and Retailer Density


Nicotine Pouches and other Modern Oral Nicotine Products 


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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