HealthDay News — The proportion of young smokers who smoke menthol cigarettes decreased after implementation of a menthol cigarette ban in England in May 2020, according to a study published online May 3 in JAMA Network Open.

Katherine A. East, Ph.D., from the University of Waterloo in Canada, and colleagues used data from online repeat cross-sectional International Tobacco Control Youth Tobacco and Vaping Surveys conducted in 2018, 2019, February 2020, and August 2020 to examine the outcomes of menthol cigarette bans among past 30-day smokers aged 16 to 19 years. The impact of the menthol cigarette ban was examined in Canada, where a ban already existed; England, where a ban was implemented during the study; and the United States, where there was no national ban.

The researchers found that in the three survey waves before the menthol ban in England, the weighted percentage of youth smokers who reported smoking a menthol or capsule cigarette brand was stable (2018 to February 2020, 9.4 to 12.1 percent), but decreased to 3.0 percent after the ban (adjusted odds ratio, 1.07). In England, the decrease from February to August 2020 was similar across all demographic groups, but was greater for those who perceived themselves as addicted to cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio, 0.37). Menthol or capsule smoking was stable across all waves in the two comparison countries, and was more prevalent in the United States than in England (adjusted odds ratio, 5.58).


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“This impact was similar among youth aged 16 to 17 and 18 to 19 years and by sex and racial and ethnic group,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed serving as expert witnesses.

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