March 24, 2023

Vira Pravosud, PhD

Impacts of Tax and Flavored Tobacco Policies on San Francisco Bay Area Tobacco Prices

In 2017, California passed a $2 cigarette tax increase, and between 2014-2020, local Bay Area cities passed local flavored tobacco bans. Dr. Vira Pravosud led a new study that showed that between 2014 and 2020, cigarette prices increased even more than the $2 tax, and prices were higher in San Francisco and in cities in Alameda County with local flavor bans. San Francisco was more expensive than any other city in Alameda County.  The study also found that the menthol flavored tobacco policy in San Francisco was well implemented. The retail stores in San Francisco had completely stopped selling Newport menthol cigarettes and Blu brand menthol e-cigarettes in 2019. This study suggests that local flavor bans affected menthol product availability and might also have indirect effects to increase tobacco prices. Higher prices and elimination of flavored tobacco products should help reduce youth tobacco use.

Study link:

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