Menthol ban studied

    A ban on menthol cigarettes brought in by a Canadian province did not trigger a rise in the sales of illegal cigarettes that was predicted by the tobacco industry, according to an American Cancer Society (ACS) story published by HealthDay and citing a new study.
    The story said that when Nova Scotia became the first jurisdiction in the world to ban menthol cigarettes in May 2015, the ‘tobacco industry’ claimed that “the primary effect of this law will be to increase the illegal tobacco market in Nova Scotia”.
    To determine if that were true, study author Michal Stoklosa, an economic and health policy research scientist at the ACS, analyzed Nova Scotia government data from 2007-2008 to 2017-2018.
    His study found a large decrease in the number of seized illicit cigarettes of any kind, from more than 60,000 cartons in 2007-2008 to just under 10,000 cartons in 2017-2018. Most of this decline occurred in the late 2000s, which was said to suggest that there was no link between seizures and the menthol cigarette ban.
    There was no statistically significant difference in the number of cigarettes seized before and after menthol cigarettes were banned, according to the researchers.
    “This indicates that illicit cigarette sales in the province are similarly unlikely to be increasing,” Stoklosa was quoted as saying in an ACS news release.
    “Indeed, Nova Scotia tax authorities estimate that the prevalence of illegal tobacco in the province has actually decreased, from 30 percent of all tobacco consumed in 2006-2007 to less than 10 percent in 2016-2017.”
    The study findings were published on October 11 in the journal Tobacco Control.