June 2020 News and Research Roundup

Cigarettes, Disparities, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Health Warnings, International, Minimum price, Non-Tax Price Increases, Preemption, Product Availability, Retailer Density, Smokeless Tobacco and SNUS, Tobacco21, Vape Shops, 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 


  • Young and youth adult use of pod-based electronic cigarettes from 2015 to 2019: A systemic review, JAMA Pediatrics
    • This systematic review of 35 articles, published between 2015 and 2019, reviewed the product design, biological effects, marketing tactics, social media presence, and youth perceptions of pod-based e-cigarettes, such as Juul, Suorin, and Vuse Alto. The researchers determined that these products evolved in design over the years to increase nicotine delivery and that adolescents who used pod-based e-cigarettes, compared to other e-cigarettes, were more likely to vape daily and exhibit more nicotine dependence symptoms. The research also evidenced that these products were extensively marketed on social media to specifically target youth and young adult consumers. Lastly, the researchers’ synthesis of publications found that young adult consumers of pod-based e-cigarettes reported top reasons for use as social approval, convenient product features, and user-friendly design. Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale and youth access to tobacco products.
    • News story: Juul-type e-cigarettes may be especially addictive for teens: Study, U.S. News & World Report
  • Prevalence of using pod-based vaping devices by brand among youth and young adults, Tobacco Control
    • From December 2018 to January 2019, researchers collected data from 2,000 American youth (ages 15-17) and young adults (ages 18-24) about their current use of varying e-cigarette brands. In the entire sample, 16.3% of youth and 20.9% of young adults reported past 30-day use of any e-cigarette brand. Broken down by brand, prevalence of past 30-day use was highest for Juul with 12.9% of youth and 18.1% of young adults reporting use, while 4.4% of youth and 6.7% of young adults reported past-30 day use of Suorin, and 2.1% of youth and 6.2% of young adults reported past 30-day use of Vuse. The prevalence of using Juul or Vuse was significantly higher in young adults, compared to youth. 76% of youth and 69% of young adults reported being aware of Juul, while awareness for Suorin and Vuse was significantly less, especially among youth. For youth, ever smoking, past 30-day smoking, and ever trying a non-cigarette tobacco product were associated with e-cigarette use; among young adults, ever trying a non-cigarette tobacco product and identifying as male were associated with e-cigarette use. Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale and youth access to tobacco products.
  • Effect of flavour manipulation on ENDS (JUUL) users’ experiences, puffing behavior and nicotine exposure among US college students, Tobacco Control
    • In this small study of 30 college students, researchers examined participants’ subjective experiences of smoking their preferred flavor of Juul, compared to the tobacco flavor of Juul. They found that participants reported higher satisfaction, taste, enjoyment, vaping urges, pleasure, concentration, and product appeal after smoking their preferred flavor, compared to smoking the tobacco flavor; in comparison, respondents reported being less motivated to vape in the future after smoking the tobacco flavor. While limited by sample size, this study suggests that flavor has a strong impact on young adults’ vaping experiences, product appeal, and motivation to vape. Learn more about flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
  • E-cigarettes: How can they help smokers quit without addicting a new generation?, Preventative Medicine
    • This study examined the various ways manufacturers of ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery systems) can design and market their products to reduce youth use, while simultaneously continuing to provide adults with a product that may help reduce or stop their use of combustible tobacco products. While the pros and cons of multiple strategies are assessed, the researchers conclude that some of the strategies most likely to reach this goal include restricting the purchase of ENDS to adult-only facilities, increasing enforcement of age restrictions, integrating technological innovations like biometrics and geofencing into the products, reducing the manufacturing of stealth products, and eliminating coupons and price incentives. According to the researchers, all of these strategies are likely to reduce youth use while still allowing adult smokers to easily switch from combustible cigarettes to ENDS products. Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
  • Associations of flavored e-cigarette uptake with subsequent smoking initiation and cessation, JAMA Network Open
    • Using longitudinal data from Waves 1-4 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health [PATH] Study, researchers analyzed associations between flavored e-cigarettes, smoking initiation, and smoking cessation. When broken down by age, researchers found that youth (ages 12-17) who began vaping had 6.75 times the odds of smoking initiation and young adults (ages 18-24) who began vaping had 3.20 times the odds of smoking initiation, compared to youth and young adults who did not begin vaping. In contrast, for adults (ages 24-54), vaping uptake was actually associated with smoking cessation. When flavor versus non-flavored e-cigarettes were assessed, researchers found that youth smoking initiation was not correlated with e-cigarettes flavors; however, adults who used flavored e-cigarettes, compared to non-flavored e-cigarettes, had 2.28 times the odds of quitting smoking. Learn more about flavored tobacco products and e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
    • News Story: E-cigarettes may help adults quit smoking, but boost teen risk for starting, UPI
  • Association of electronic nicotine delivery system use with cigarette smoking relapse among former smokers in the United Sates, JAMA Network Open
    • Using similar longitudinal data from the PATH Study, this study examined the impact of electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) use on cigarette smoking relapse in former cigarette smokers. Among both recent cigarette quitters (less than 1 year) and long-term former smokers (more than 1 year), ENDS use was strongly associated with an increased risk of relapsing to cigarette use. In addition, use of other tobacco products, such as cigars, hookah, and snus, were also associated with significant risk of relapse to cigarettes in both participant groupings. Learn more about e-cigarettes at the point of sale.
    • News story: SAFE GC Coalition: E-cigs associated with risk of relapse, Patch

Point of Sale Advertising and Marketing

Pricing Policy


Health Warnings



  • Smoking behavior and psychological dynamics during COVID-19 social distancing and stay-at-home policies: A survey, Health Psychology Research
    • This survey of 1,825 participants assessed smoking behaviors, attitudes, and intentions in Italy during a time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. Dual users of e-cigarettes and cigarettes and exclusive cigarette smokers reported a perceived reduction in daily consumption of tobacco products, and exclusive cigarette and exclusive e-cigarette users reported having to change the way they purchased their tobacco products. The majority of exclusive cigarette smokers considered quitting; however, most exclusive e-cigarette smokers had not considered doing so. About one-third of former smokers reported considering smoking again, and, in never smokers, very few reported intentions to start smoking. During this unprecedented time of stress and hardship, learn more about the intersection of mental health and the tobacco retail environment.
  • Notes from the field: Vape shop business operations compliance in the wake of COVID-19, Evaluation and the Health Professions
    • In March of 2020, the governor of California issued a mandatory “stay at home” order, effectively shuttering nonessential businesses. This study investigated the number of vape shops that remained open in Southern California despite this executive order. Out of 88 vape shops involved in an ongoing project, 54 vape shops remained open, with the majority of these open shops located predominately in areas with a large Asian and Hispanic population. Furthermore, walk-in service was significantly higher in Hispanic neighborhoods than in Black, Asian, and non-Hispanic White neighborhoods. This study highlights the need for improved communications between vape shops and public health departments during the pandemic. Learn more about vape shops and e-cigarettes at the point of sale.


Industry News 

POS Policy in the Media 


Tobacco 21

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

Tobacco Retailer Licenses

Health Warnings



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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