Oct 23, 2019

Study: Flavored tobacco products are a gateway to regular use

First use of flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah, and smokeless tobacco products can place young adults and adults at risk of regular tobacco use. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Youths and young adults are likely to continue using various tobacco products after trying flavored products like menthol or mint, according to a new study from JAMA Network.

Driving the news: Popular e-cigarette startup Juul announced last week a halt in its flavored vape products, signaling further cooperation with the FDA. Juul banned all flavors except mint, its most popular flavor.

The big picture: The study notes that all flavored tobacco products are at fault of being a gateway to regular use, not just e-cigarettes.

  • First use of flavored e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and smokeless tobacco products can place young adults and adults at risk of regular tobacco use.
  • There's a significant association between first use of a menthol or mint flavored cigarette and continued cigarette use across all age groups.

Background: Last year, the FDA planned a proposal to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. This year, many city and state legislatures are joining the effort to ban flavored e-cigarettes.

  • Preliminary results from a Centers for Disease Control study showed nearly 28% of high school students reported using an e-cigarette last August, a 7-point bump from 2018.
  • Fruit, menthol and mint flavors were by far the most popular flavors, with more than 60% of teen vapers acknowledging that they had used them, per the CDC.

Noteworthy: The Food and Drug Administration concluded Tuesday that completely switching from traditional cigarettes to eight "General Snus" smokeless tobacco products does lower certain health risks.

  • The public is still divided over whether outlawing flavored e-cigarettes or all e-cigarettes is a good idea, according to data from Kaiser Family Foundation.

Go deeper: Regulatory gaps are exacerbating the youth vaping crisis

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.

Louisville police chief fired after body cameras found inactive in shooting of black man

Louisville police officers during protests. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the city's chief of police Steve Conrad after it was discovered that police officers had not activated their body cameras during the shooting of David McAtee, a local black business owner who was killed during protests early Monday morning.

Why it matters: Mandatory body camera policies have proven to be important in efforts to hold police officers accountable for excessive force against civilians and other misconduct. Those policies are under even greater scrutiny as the nation has erupted in protest over the killing of black people at the hands of police.