Mint Flavor Ban Leads to 33% Drop in Cigarette Sales

Mint Flavor Ban Leads to 33% Drop in Cigarette Sales
Massachusetts' ban on menthol cigarettes caused a 33% drop in overall cigarette sales, and may save 16,250 tobacco-related deaths by 2060.

According to a research report titled "Massachusetts' Ban on Flavored Tobacco Sales and Comprehensive Menthol Ban," after the ban on menthol-flavored cigarettes went into effect, cigarette sales in Massachusetts decreased by as much as 33%.

According to researchers, during the same period, cigarette sales dropped by 8% in 33 states where there was no ban on menthol-flavored tobacco, while sales of menthol cigarettes dropped by 3%. UPI cites co-author Samuel Asare as saying, "We learned from Massachusetts that the menthol flavor ban effectively reduced both menthol and overall cigarette sales.

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan supports the claim that banning menthol-flavored cigarettes can lead many smokers to quit or switch to less harmful nicotine products. The study was published in Tobacco Control and predicts that by the year 2060, a ban on menthol could prevent 16,250 tobacco-related deaths per year.

Rafael Meza, an epidemiology professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, stated that "this work is the culmination of a series of projects aimed at evaluating the impact of menthol cigarette bans on smoking, downstream health effects, and smoking-related health disparities." "Our findings demonstrate significant health benefits from menthol bans, emphasizing the urgent need for their ultimate approval and implementation.

The investigation results are based on data analysis and computational modeling infrastructure compiled as part of the Tobacco Regulatory Science Center. The research team utilized smoking and e-cigarette models, which they had previously developed, to study the smoking and e-cigarette behaviors of mint and non-mint flavored cigarettes.

They found that with the menthol ban in place, the combined smoking of menthol and non-menthol cigarettes would decrease by 15% by 2026. Smoking and e-cigarette use were estimated to result in a 5% decrease in deaths and an 8.8% decrease in life years lost - avoiding 16,250 deaths annually and adding 11 million years of life (nearly 300,000 per year) over 40 years. David Levy, a professor of oncology at Georgetown University, said "recent evidence suggests that a menthol ban may increase quit rates, with somewhat limited evidence on reduction in smoking and switching to other products like e-cigarettes.


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