The 2009 ban on flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in the United States led to a large decrease in smoking among teens and young adults, according to a new study.
Researchers at George Mason University analyzed data from the 2002-2017 U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, HealthDay reports. They examined past 30-day cigarette use before and after the flavored cigarette ban in different age groups. They found a 43% drop in smoking among youth ages 12-17, and a 27% decrease among young adults ages 18-25.
The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, did not find a similar reduction in smoking among older adults.
The researchers found young people increased their use of menthol cigarettes right after the ban took effect. “It appears that young people smoke menthol cigarettes more when other flavor options are no longer available,” lead researcher Matthew Rossheim said in a news release.