BACKGROUND: As of September 2020, more than 300 state and local jurisdictions restrict the sales of flavored tobacco, with some including menthol.
AIMS: To evaluate the impact of local ordinances restricting the sale of flavored tobacco, we surveyed Californians regarding policy support and perceived access to flavored tobacco.
METHODS: In 2019, we conducted an online survey of 3,075 California youth and young adults recruited via social media, about half of whom lived in a policy jurisdiction. Logistic regressions assessed differences on propensity score-weighted outcomes, policy support, and perceived access.
RESULTS: Most respondents indicated agreement with almost all policy support statements. Although policy respondents were less likely than rest-of-California respondents to report perceived difficulty in buying flavored cigars, flavored vape users in policy jurisdictions were more likely than those in the rest of California to report perceived difficulty in buying flavored e-liquid. Regardless of jurisdiction, certain priority subgroups were significantly more likely to report perceived difficulty in accessing flavored cigars, flavored vaping products, flavored e-liquid, and menthol cigarettes.
DISCUSSION: With some exceptions, these findings demonstrate that among vape users in policy jurisdictions and priority subgroups, there is a higher likelihood of reporting perceived difficulty to access flavored tobacco products.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings might be an early indication of shifts in social norms about flavored tobacco products in California, which could gain traction as local sales restriction ordinances proliferate throughout the state and a statewide flavored-tobacco sales restriction goes into effect.