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Flavored Tobacco Product Use among Youth and Young Adults: What if Flavors Didn't Exist?

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Objective: We aimed to determine the potential for reductions in the prevalence of young people's e-cigarette and tobacco use if characterizing flavors were not present. Methods: Two parallel cross-sectional surveys of 2483 youth (TATAMS: Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance System) and 4326 young adults (M-PACT: Marketing and Promotions across Colleges in Texas) in Texas (Houston, Dallas/ Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Austin). Current use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco (cigarettes, cigar products, hookah, smokeless tobacco). Users were asked: "When you use [product], do you usually use any of the following flavors?" Flavored product users were asked: "Would you continue using [product] if it were not flavored?" Results: Over 80% of youth and young adult tobacco users reported using flavored tobacco. Three-fourths of flavored product users said they would no longer use the product if it was not flavored. This was highest for e-cigarettes and hookah and lowest for cigarettes. Few demographic differences in findings were observed. Conclusions: Restricting flavors in tobacco products would not eradicate e-cigarette or other tobacco use among young people, but the potential for substantial reductions in the prevalence of young people's e-cigarette and other tobacco use seems high if flavors were removed.
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Keywords: TOBACCO PRODUCT FLAVORS; TOBACCO USE REDUCTION; YOUNG ADULTS; YOUTH

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2017

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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