Flavor-related descriptors on economy-priced flavored cigarette packs in five Latin American countries
Jennifer Brown 1, 2  
,   Ashley Grant 2,   Caitlin Weiger 1, 2,   Joanna Cohen 1, 2
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Health, Behavior & Society, United States of America
Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States of America
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A950
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Flavored cigarettes are popular among youth and are associated with smoking initiation. Flavor capsule cigarettes contain capsules inside the filters that smokers can press to release a liquid that flavors smoke. Argentina, Chile, and Peru are three of four countries with the highest flavor capsule cigarette market share in the world. We describe the descriptors used to indicate flavor or flavor release on economy-priced flavored cigarette packs in five Latin American countries.

310 sampling areas within a 100-250 meter radius of primary and secondary schools in one major city in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Peru were identified in January 2017. At each retailer in the sampling areas, observational data on cigarette advertising were collected. Additionally, the cheapest non-flavored, menthol-flavored, and other flavored cigarette packs were purchased at one retailer in each sampling area. Packs were coded for attributes such as brand, flavor, and descriptors.

320 flavored cigarette packs were purchased across five countries. 92.8% (n=297) of packs displayed non-conventional flavor descriptors (i.e., describe a flavor or function associated with release of flavor but do not denote a characterizing flavor like menthol or cherry). Of those packs with non-conventional flavor descriptors, 99.3% (n=295) displayed one or more descriptors indicating functionality to release flavor such as “capsule”, “mix”, “crush” and “expand”. 82.5% (n=245) displayed terms that connote a technological function related to flavor release such as “activate”, “click”, and “switch”. In regards to flavor, 36% (n=107) of packs indicated a cooling effect with descriptors like “cool”, “fresh”, and “ice”. Examples of other non-characterizing flavors include “ruby burst” and “purple crush”.

Among economy-priced flavored cigarettes sold in five Latin American countries, non-conventional descriptors are often used to describe capsule presence and flavors. These findings will inform advocacy efforts that call for restrictions on flavored tobacco and inform future research on capsule cigarettes.