A ban on the sale of flavoured cigarettes reduces underage smoking by 43% and smoking amongst young adults by 27%.
Following a ban on flavoured cigarettes in the US, researchers looked at the impact this had on youth smoking. They link the ban to a significant reduction in smoking amongst youth (12-17 years) and young adults (18-25 years). However, the trend does not continue for older smokers.
Experts believe this could have a huge impact on public health, with 90% of smokers starting by 18 years old.
‘Our study suggests that the ban of flavoured cigarettes was extremely effective at reducing smoking among young people,’ explains Dr Matthew Rossheim, assistant professor of global and community health at George Manson University, who carried out the study.
‘This shows incredible promise for future comprehensive bans of flavoured tobacco products. Including those in e-cigarettes, which to-date have received significant exemptions.
‘Policymakers should take note of the evidence from this study and pass legislation to extend flavour bans to other tobacco and nicotine products.’
Menthol flavoured cigarettes
Menthol cigarettes are excluded from the 2009 ban on flavoured cigarettes in the US.
The study goes on to highlight that African Americans disproportionately smoke more menthol-flavoured cigarettes. It also suggests flavour bans should include all flavours to maximise the effect.
‘We observed an increase in smoking of menthol cigarettes among youth right after the ban took effect,’ Dr Rossheim continues.
‘It appears that young people smoke menthol cigarettes more when other flavour options are no longer available.’
Tokyo 2021 is set to become the first Olympics and Paralympics with a total ban on smoking, including e-cigarettes, at all outdoor and indoor venues.
This is the toughest regulations imposed on the games and comes after pressure from the International Olympic Committee.
The Committee is also encouraging Tokyo to improve its air and water quality before the games.
‘Tokyo 2020 has decided to adopt a stricter non-smoking policy to protect the health and safety of athletes, spectators and officials,’ the organisers said in a statement last year.
‘It will ban smoking in indoor venues, outdoor venues and also in venues’ secure perimeters operated by Tokyo 2020.
‘A similar policy to that enacted during the Olympic Winter Games Pyeong Chang 2018.
‘Tokyo 2020 aims to leave a legacy of improved public health for the country at large.’
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