Global review of tobacco product flavour policies

Olufemi Erinoso, Katherine Clegg Smith, Michael Iacobelli, Sejal Saraf, Kevin Welding, Joanna E. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective We determined which countries prohibit flavoured tobacco products and the details of those restrictions in order to identify possible gaps and opportunities for these and other countries to address. Methods We reviewed the grey literature, scanned news articles and consulted with key informants and identified 11 countries and the European Union (EU) that ban or restrict tobacco product flavours. We reviewed policy documents for their stated policy rationale, terms and definitions of flavours, tobacco products covered and restrictions on the use of flavour imagery and terms on tobacco product packaging. Results Countries with a tobacco product flavour policy include the USA, Canada, Brazil, Ethiopia, Uganda, Senegal, Niger, Mauritania, EU (28 Member States), Moldova, Turkey and Singapore. Most of the countries' policies provide a rationale of dissuading youth from taking up tobacco use. Ten of the 12 policies use the terms 'flavours' (n=6) or 'characterising flavours' (n=4). Six policies cover all products made entirely or partly of tobacco leaf. Countries consistently prohibit flavours associated with fruits, vanilla and spices. The USA and Niger make an exception for menthol, while Mauritania and Uganda do not specify the scope of flavours or ingredients covered by their policies. Eight policies make no specific reference to restricting flavour descriptors on tobacco product packaging. Conclusion Countries looking to implement policies restricting flavours in tobacco products can build on existing comprehensive policies. Future research could examine the implementation and impacts of these policies, to inform other countries interested in acting in this policy domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-379
Number of pages7
JournalTobacco control
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021


  • global health
  • low/middle income country
  • public policy
  • tobacco industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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