Centering equity in flavored tobacco ban policies: Implications for tobacco control researchers

Shyanika W. Rose, Melinda Ickes, Minal Patel, Mary Kay Rayens, Judy van de Venne, Arati Annabathula, Barbara Schillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


To achieve equity in protection from poor health outcomes due to tobacco use, tobacco control policies and interventions need to affect socially disadvantaged groups more strongly than advantaged groups. Flavored tobacco bans have been seen as a policy with this potential. However, tobacco control researchers, in close concert with policy advocates, need to consider how to center equity throughout the policy process to achieve equitable outcomes from banning flavored tobacco. In this commentary, we outline the rationale for how and why tobacco control researchers should consider equity throughout the policy process to help fully achieve the potential of flavored tobacco ban policies. These recommendations emerged from a presentation at the Vermont Center on Behavior and Health 2021 Conference. Specifically, we focus on recommendations for tobacco control researchers to center equity including partnering with communities in agenda setting, examining how various policy formulations or exemptions may increase or decrease disparities, determining where flavor policies need to reach and whether policies are equitably reaching all populations disproportionately burdened by flavored tobacco, assessing whether policy implementation/enforcement is carried out equitably to maximize policy benefits, and evaluating policy impact with as much granularity as possible. Considering the entire policy process is central to enhancing equitable outcomes from banning flavored tobacco. Tobacco control researchers can play a key role in ensuring that these policies are viewed through an equity lens to, not just improve population health, but also to reduce harms to those disproportionately burdened by use of flavored products.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107173
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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  • Flavored tobacco
  • Health equity
  • Tobacco control policies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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