Flavor Under Fire
Chemical Analysis of Cigarettes Sold in Three Countries
Despite evidence showing that banning flavored tobacco products can reduce their use and increase quit attempts, no such ban currently exists in Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines—countries where one quarter or more of the adult population (and 40% or more of adult males) smoke and where sales of flavored tobacco products are growing.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Portland State University analyzed dozens of flavored tobacco products sold in Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, to assess the presence, levels and mix of 180 individual flavor chemicals in these products—all of which can be manipulated by manufacturers to maximize potential consumer appeal.
The results are documented in a series of recently published papers as well as a video summarizing the study and its implications.
Cohen JE, Amalia B, Luo W, McWhirter KJ, Masanga BC, Pankow JF. Eugenol, menthol and other flavour chemicals in kreteks and ‘white’ cigarettes purchased in Indonesia. Tobacco Control. Published Online First: 24 April 2023. DOI: 10.1136/tc-2022-057827.
Cohen JE, Czaplicki L, Crespi E, Brown JL, Luo W, McWhirter KJ, Masanga BC, Pankow JF. Menthol and other flavor chemicals in cigarettes from Vietnam and the Philippines. Nicotine & Tobacco Research 2023; XX:1–8. DOI: 10.1093/ntr/ntad146.
- Vietnam: Supplementary Table 1
- Philippines: Supplementary Table 2
- Supplementary Figures for Vietnam and the Philippines
- Research: the chemical content of flavored cigarettes in Indonesia obscures the dangers of cigarettes (The Conversation)
- This is the reason why more and more young people in Indonesia smoke (Detik)
- Flavorings in Cigarette Products Encourage People to Start Smoking (Kompas)
The following captions may be used to disseminate this downloadable 60-second version of the video via social media:
- FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, INSTAGRAM, TIKTOK: Despite increased evidence showing that banning flavored tobacco products can reduce their use and increase quit attempts, no such ban currently exists in Indonesia, Vietnam, or the Philippines—countries where one quarter or more of the adult population (and 40% or more of adult males) smoke and where sales of flavored tobacco products are growing. Knowing that tobacco companies can manipulate the levels of flavor chemicals in their flavored products to maximize potential consumer appeal, experts from Portland State University and the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health teamed up to analyze the presence, level, and mix of 180 such chemicals in dozens of products. Here’s what they discovered: https://globaltobaccocontrol.org/flavorunderfire
- TWITTER/X: Much is known about the link between cigarette flavors and consumer appeal—but less has been reported about the LEVEL of flavor chemicals in tobacco products. Experts from @IGTC_Hopkins and @portland_state teamed up to fill this research gap. 🔬 https://globaltobaccocontrol.org/flavorunderfire