Flavored tobacco product use among U.S. young adults

Am J Prev Med. 2013 Apr;44(4):388-391. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2012.11.031.


Background: Passage of the U.S. Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009 led to a ban on the sale of flavored cigarettes, largely because of studies showing targeting of these products to youth and young adults. There are no current restrictions on the marketing or sale of noncigarette or new nontraditional smokeless tobacco products (such as snus and dissolvable products), which are available in more than 45 flavors.

Purpose: To determine the prevalence of flavored tobacco use, dual use of flavored and menthol tobacco products, and sociodemographic predictors of flavored tobacco product use in young adults aged 18-34 years (N=4196).

Methods: The current study utilizes data from Legacy's Young Adult Cohort Study, a nationally representative sample collected in January 2012. Data were analyzed using Stata IC 11.0 in June 2012.

Results: Overall, 18.5% of tobacco users report using flavored products, and dual use of menthol and flavored product use ranged from 1% (nicotine products) to 72% (chewing tobacco). In a multivariable model controlling for menthol use, younger adults were more likely to use flavored tobacco products (OR=1.89, 95% CI=1.14, 3.11), and those with a high school education had decreased use of flavored products (OR=0.56; 95% CI=0.32, 0.97).

Conclusions: Differences in use may be due to the continued targeted advertising of flavored products to young adults and minorities. Those most likely to use flavored products are also those most at risk of developing established tobacco-use patterns that persist through their lifetime.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Flavoring Agents / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Menthol / administration & dosage
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Flavoring Agents
  • Menthol