Cover: An Experimental Evaluation of the Effects of Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products on Adolescents' and Young Adults' Future Nicotine Vaping Intentions

An Experimental Evaluation of the Effects of Banning the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products on Adolescents' and Young Adults' Future Nicotine Vaping Intentions

Published in: Addictive Behaviors, Volume 145 (October 2023). doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2023.107784

Posted on rand.org Aug 10, 2023

by Michael S. Dunbar, Claude Messan Setodji, Steven C. Martino, Desmond Jensen, Rosemary Li, Armenda Bialas, William G. Shadel

Background

Some U.S. states and municipalities have banned the sale of flavored tobacco products to help curb youth vaping. However, evidence supporting such bans is limited. This experiment tested whether removing flavored tobacco products from a retail setting diminished adolescents' (ages 11–20) future intentions to use vaping products.

Methods

The study was implemented in the RAND StoreLab, a life-sized model convenience store. The display of flavored tobacco products in the store was manipulated with these conditions: 1) tobacco, sweet, and menthol/mint flavors displayed; 2) only tobacco and menthol/mint displayed; and 3) only tobacco flavors displayed. Participants were randomly assigned to shop in one of these conditions and completed measures of future vaping intentions post-shopping. Separate logistic regression models assessed effect of condition on future intentions to use different flavors (tobacco-, menthol/mint-, and sweet-flavored) and any flavor (composite score across flavor categories) of vaping products.

Results

Study condition was not associated with intentions to use menthol/mint-, sweet-flavored, or any flavor. Compared to the condition in which all flavored products were displayed, removing menthol/mint- and sweet-flavored products significantly increased future intentions to use tobacco-flavored vaping products (OR = 3.97, 95 % CI [1.01, 15.58], p < .05). This effect was only observed among adolescents with history of vaping (OR = 11.30, 95 % CI [1.42, 89.96], p = .02).

Conclusions

Flavor bans may not affect adolescents' intentions to use menthol/mint, sweet, or “any” flavor of vaping products but may increase intentions to use tobacco-flavored products for teens who have already started vaping.

Research conducted by

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