Menthol and Other Flavored Tobacco Products

The high prevalence of menthol and flavored tobacco use in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities poses a significant threat to public health. Predatory marketing strategies by big tobacco companies on AI/AN communities has amplified initiation and addiction rates, further worsening health disparities. Menthol and flavored tobacco has been recognized as a catalyst for smoking initiation and addiction, posing an additional hurdle to quitting efforts. AI/AN communities encounter distinct challenges linked to the use of menthol and other flavored tobacco products, with the youth being particularly vulnerable to heightened risks. In a recent survey, 19.9% of youth in grades 8 report using vaping products at least once in their lifetime and 38.8% of 12th graders report having used vaping products. 1 Additionally,77% of youth surveyed in grades 8-10 did not perceive the use of vaping products as increasing their risk of developing cancer and other illnesses and nearly half of all respondents indicated that it was fairly easy for them to obtain vape products.1  

The harmful effects of menthol and flavored tobacco products extend beyond individual health, impacting community well-being and exacerbating existing disparities. It is imperative to address these issues comprehensively, emphasizing education, awareness, access to cessation services, culturally tailored interventions and effective policy initiatives to curb the prevalence of menthol and flavored tobacco use in AI/AN communities. 

Stanley, S. J., Kelley, D. E., O'Brien, E., Margolis, K. A., Navarro, M. A., Alexander, J. P., & O'Donnell, A. N. (2022). US digital tobacco marketing and youth: A narrative review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 102094. 

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Tammy W.'s Tips from Former Smokers Article

Tammy's media release is now available to share.  Learn more about Tammy's story and where her story will be shared in the 2024 Tips from Former Smokers campaign here.

Photo of Tammy W.

Tammy, age 50, lives in Michigan. She is a member of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians tribe. She started smoking menthol cigarettes at age 21. Tammy ate healthy, exercised regularly, and ran marathons. But at age 44, Tammy learned she had severe heart disease and needed open-heart surgery. (Photo Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

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Tammy W.'s Tips from Former Smokers Story

Tammy smoked menthol cigarettes because she thought they were less dangerous than other cigarettes.  The then quit smoking when she discovered she was suffering from severe heart disease and needed open heart surgery.  Learn more about Tammy's story here:  https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/stories/tammy-w.html

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Cessation Medication Fact Sheet

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flavorshookkids.org

Mission

We have been leading the fight to protect Californians from the tobacco industry for more than 30 years.  Because we deserve healthy live, lower healthcare costs, tobacco-free communities, and an environment free of the tobacco industry's toxic waste.  And kids should grow up without the tobacco industry poisoning their childhood.  Every day, we work to undo the tobacco industry's damage and restore every Californian's right to health and wellness.

flavorshookkids.org

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Stopflavors.org AND M[END]THOL

About:

Stopfalvors.org and M[END]THOL is a call to action to end the influence of menthol and all flaovred tobacco products on multiple levels.  We want to END the use of methol and other flavors as an additive to mask the harmful effects of cigarettes, tobacco, and nicotine.  We want to END the sale of these products, particularly in the Black, Hispanic, and LGBT communities.  And we want to END the legalization of using menthol and other flavors in any tobacco product.

stopflavors.org

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CDC Menthol Fact Sheets

CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) has released Menthol Fact Sheets for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These fact sheets were developed to help OSH awardees and partners with their programmatic planning and educational efforts, given the significant risk menthol cigarettes pose to public health.   

The data presented in the fact sheets include:  

  • state-specific estimates of the number of adults who currently smoke, usually use menthol cigarettes, and are seriously considering quitting smoking;  
  • the economic cost of cigarette smoking in the state;  
  • the estimated number of adults in the state who would quit smoking if menthol cigarettes were no longer available;  
  • state Medicaid coverage for cessation treatments;  
  • state smoking quitline utilization; and, 
  • the amount of funds CDC provides the state for the quitline. 

The State Menthol Fact Sheets can be found here: Menthol Fact Sheets | Smoking & Tobacco Use | CDC 

More information about the data in the Menthol Fact Sheets can be found here: State Menthol Fact Sheets References and Methodology (cdc.gov).

If you downloaded data from these pages in the past week during our soft release, please revisit these pages and download again as some data have been updated. If you have questions, please contact your OSH public health advisor, as this email account is not monitored regularly.  

OSH extends its appreciation to colleagues Anne Hartman (now retired) and Todd Gibson from NCI and to Geoffrey Fong from the University of Waterloo for their assistance in the development of these fact sheets.  

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Truth Initiative:  Flavored Tobacco Policy Resources

From:  https://truthinitiative.org/our-top-issues/flavored-tobacco

Truth's Latest Work on Flavors

Truth Initiative focuses significant research, education and engagement efforts on flavored tobacco products, including developing reports and resources on the impact of these products, conducting prevention campaigns and community outreach and calling on the Food and Drug Administration to take needed actions to protect youth.

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Michigan Health and Human Services:  Tobacco

From:  https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/keep-mi-healthy/chronicdiseases/tobacco

Our Mission

To reduce morbidity and mortality and alleviate the social and economic burden caused by commercial tobacco use in Michigan.

Our Vision

A healthier Michigan, free of all forms of commercial tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure

Our Plan

Our work is guided by the five goals of the Tobacco Section Strategic Plan:

  • identify and eliminate tobacco-related health disparities;
  • eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke;
  • promote tobacco treatment (cessation) among adults and youth;
  • prevent initiation among youth and young adults; and
  • expand and stabilize tobacco control infrastructure and funding.