November 2021 News and Research Roundup

Disparities, E-Cigarettes, FDA, Flavors (including Menthol), Licensing, Little cigars/Cigarillos, Product Availability, Product Packaging, Vape Shops

Welcome to’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

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

  • Are California’s Local Flavored Tobacco Sales Restrictions Effective in Reducing the Retail Availability of Flavored Tobacco Products? A Multicomponent Evaluation, Evaluation Review
    • menthol cigarettes A study comparing product availability in California jurisdictions that had passed ordinances restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products with similar jurisdictions that had not passed such ordinances found that availability was lower for menthol cigarettes (40.6% vs. 95.0%), cigarillos/cigar wraps with explicit flavor descriptors (56.4% vs. 85.0%), and vaping products with explicit flavor descriptors (6.1% vs. 56.9%) in jurisdictions with ordinances in place. The results show that restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products are effective at reducing their retail availability. However, other components of the study showed that there are some needed improvements for compliance, including with addressing advertising for flavored products and any barriers retailers perceive to compliance.
  • Analysis of Wholesale Cigarette Sales in Canada After Menthol Cigarette Bans, JAMA Network Open
    • An analysis of sales data across Canada following the country’s ban on the sale of menthol cigarettes found that sales of both menthol cigarettes and all cigarettes decreased, indicating that more people who previously smoked menthol quit smoking than switched to non-menthol cigarettes.
    • News story: Study: Ban on menthol cigarettes in Canada had more people quit smoking, UPI
  • Tobacco industry strategies for flavour capsule cigarettes: analysis of patents and internal industry documents, Tobacco Control
    • Tmenthol capule cigarette advertisementhis study analyzed tobacco industry documents relating to flavour capsule variants, or cigarettes with a crushable flavor capsule (e.g. Camel Crush). Results showed that tobacco companies have developed flavor capsules that can fit into cigarettes, packs, or recessed filters that may allow users to modify their cigarettes in a way that would circumvent flavor bans. Researchers suggest that regulators should consider these designs and design policies without loopholes that tobacco companies could exploit with these capsules.
  • Brief report: Menthol e-cigarette sales rise following 2020 FDA guidance, Tobacco Control
    • An analysis of sales data shows that after Juul removed their mint-flavored e-cigarette pods from the market in 2019, the market share of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes increased by 59.4% over 4 weeks. When the FDA prohibited the sale of all cartridge or pod-based e-cigarettes in flavors other than menthol and tobacco, the market share of menthol e-cigarettes increased by 54.5% over 4 weeks and by 82.8% over 8 weeks. While total e-cigarette sales declined following these actions, this data shows the need for regulating all flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol.


  • Using place-based characteristics to inform FDA tobacco sales inspections: results form a multilevel propensity score model, Tobacco Control
    • This study used a propensity score model to identify areas with a high likelihood of retailers selling to underage youth, looking at previous violation records as well as community social-ecological and contextual factors to predict future violations. This model could improve sampling for FDA inspections to capture more potential violations without targeting neighborhoods based solely on income or race and ethnicity makeup.
  • Compliance to FDA’s elimination of free tobacco product sampling at vape shops, Addictive Behaviors
    • This study assessed vape shop compliance with the FDA’s 2016 Deeming Rule’s ban on free sampling. Interviews with vape shop employees conducted between November 2017 and December 2018 showed that while 92.6% complied with the new policy, only 28.1% eliminating product sampling entirely. Instead, most modified their practices to charge a small fee for samples. The researchers suggest that regulations should be more clear and could include practices like standardized pricing for samples or more clearly eliminate all sampling to ensure better compliance.


Industry News

POS Policy in the Media

Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco 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! is a project of Counter Tools. Counter Tools (logo)
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