May 24, 2018

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Scientific evidence that getting rid of flavored tobacco products will improve health

In the battle over the future of San Francisco’s law ending the sale of flavored tobacco products (no all tobacco products, as the RJ Reynolds tobacco company campaign claims), RJR’s NO on Prop E campaign continues to talk about freedom and the health groups’ Yes on Prop E campaign talks about flavors attracting kids.


The public comment we just submitted to FDA in response to their Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on flavors sums up the current state of the science:


  • Flavors attract kids to tobacco products
  • Flavors make it easier for kids to consume tobacco by masking the taste
  • There is not good evidence that flavors help adults quit smoking
  • Most kids (as well as adult African Americans and other ethnic groups) smoke menthol cigarettes


This latter point is the likely the real reason RJ Reynolds is spending over $12 million in an effort to defeat Prop E.  They make the leading menthol cigarette (Newport), which accounts for about one-third of RJR’s sales.


If the FDA issues a rule on flavors, it is likely years away.  That is why the battle over flavors has shifted to the local level.

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