Introduction Flavored tobacco appeals to new users. This paper describes evaluation results of California's early ordinances restricting flavored tobacco sales. Methods A multicomponent evaluation of proximal policy outcomes involved the following: (a) tracking the reach of local ordinances; (b) a retail observation survey; and (c) a statewide opinion poll of tobacco retailers. Change in the population covered by local ordinances was computed. Retail observations compared availability of flavored tobacco at retailers in jurisdictions with and without an ordinance. Mixed models compared ordinance and matched no-ordinance jurisdictions and adjusted for store type. An opinion poll assessed retailers' awareness and ease of compliance with local ordinances, comparing respondents in ordinance jurisdictions with the rest of California. Results The proportion of Californians living in a jurisdiction with an ordinance increased from 0.6% in April 2015 to 5.82% by January 1, 2019. Flavored tobacco availability was significantly lower in ordinance jurisdictions than in matched jurisdictions: menthol cigarettes (40.6% vs. 95.0%), cigarillos/cigar wraps with explicit flavor descriptors (56.4% vs. 85.0%), and vaping products with explicit flavor descriptors (6.1% vs. 56.9%). Over half of retailers felt compliance was easy; however, retailers in ordinance jurisdictions expressed lower support for flavor sales restrictions. Conclusions The proportion of California's population covered by a flavor ordinance increased nine-fold between April 2015 and January 2019. Fewer retailers in ordinance jurisdictions had flavored tobacco products available compared to matched jurisdictions without an ordinance, but many still advertised flavored products they could not sell. Comprehensive ordinances and retailer outreach may facilitate sales-restriction support and compliance.
Are California’s local flavored tobacco sales restrictions effective in reducing the retail availability of flavored tobacco products? A multicomponent evaluation
Andersen-Rodgers, E., Zhang, X., Vuong, T. D., Hendrix, L., Edora, C., Williams, R. J., Groves, L., Roeseler, A., Rogers, T., Voelker, D. H., Schleicher, N. C., Johnson, T. O., & Henriksen, L. (2021). Are California’s local flavored tobacco sales restrictions effective in reducing the retail availability of flavored tobacco products? A multicomponent evaluation. Evaluation Review, 45(3-4), 134-165. [ARTN 0193841X211051873]. https://doi.org/10.1177/0193841X211051873