Failed Flavored-Tobacco Ban May Produce A Silver Lining For Teen Prevention Efforts
The state’s failure to pass a ban on flavored tobacco products may have put it in a better strategic position to prevent and combat teen tobacco use. Legislators could not agree on the ban in June, but a new—albeit small—study by Abigail Friedman, assistant professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health, found that after San Francisco banned flavored tobacco products in 2018, including flavored e-cigarettes, cigarette smoking increased among the city’s high school students. In comparatively similar school districts across the country with no flavor ban, cigarette smoking continued to decline, according to Friedman’s study, published in May in JAMA Pediatrics. “This raises concerns that reducing access to flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems may motivate youths who would otherwise vape to substitute smoking,” Friedman wrote. The results of the Yale study may be a case of correlation rather than causation.