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TSRC, Tob. Sci. Res. Conf., 2023, 76, abstr. 62

Modelling the impact of an ENDS flavor ban on youth users and adult current smokers in the united states

Centre for Substance Use Research, Glasgow, UK

Objectives: Following publication of the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, highlighting the level of youth use of Menthol flavored ENDS, further enforcement of all non-tobacco flavors, including Menthol, is a current topic of regulatory debate.

  1. To determine what flavors youth and adult current smokers reported using in an e-cigarette in the past 30 days
  2. To estimate the number of youth and adult current smokers who have used an ENDS in the past 30-days who, post implementation of a flavor ban, may exit vaping

Methods: An online questionnaire was administered to probability-based samples of youth and adults in the United States, recruited through Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel® in June 2022.

Participants’ use of ENDS flavors in the past 30 days was categorized into the following groups: (1) Tobacco only; (2) Tobacco and Menthol; (3) Tobacco and Other Flavors; (4) Menthol only; (5) Menthol and Other Flavors; (6) Other Flavors only; and (7) Tobacco and Menthol and Other Flavors. A weighted percentage and estimated weighted number of persons was calculated for each of the seven flavor groups.

A flavor ban scenario was modelled where FDA bans all e-liquid flavors except tobacco.

Results: If FDA banned all flavors except Tobacco, for every 1% that used a flavor other than Tobacco in the past 30 days and, following the flavor ban, did not migrate to Tobacco, then an estimated 4,142 youth may exit vaping and an estimated 25,143 adult current smokers may exit vaping.

Implications: Changes to policy restricting e-liquid flavor choice must strike the correct balance between mitigating risk to youth against the potential benefit to adult smokers who use e-cigarettes to reduce their cigarette consumption or switch.