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Online Shopping for Tobacco Products Rises with California Flavor Restrictions

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Reporting in the journal Tobacco Control on Nov. 7, 2023, our lab assessed the impact of California's statewide flavor restriction on online shopping behavior among consumers. Comparing observed rates of shopping queries with expected rates, we discovered that shopping queries were 194 percent higher than expected for cigarettes and 162 percent higher than expected for vape products and these increases persisted for weeks after the ban was enacted.

A review of the search results also indicated how easy it was to access products with about 7 percent of websites that came up during searches for cigarettes offering menthol cigarettes and about 40 percent of websites that came up during searches for vaping products offering flavored vaping products

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