Case studies for regulatory approaches to tobacco products: menthol in tobacco products
WHO’s new publication, the “Case studies for regulatory approaches to tobacco products: Menthol in tobacco products,” was launched during the 2018 World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town.
The publication complements the 2016 advisory note on menthol published by the WHO Study Group on Tobacco Product Regulation (TobReg), which sets out the available evidence on prevalence and health effects of menthol in tobacco products, as well as evidence-based conclusions and recommendations for policy-makers and regulators on menthol in its various forms.
The new case studies provide practical guidance to countries by describing effective regulatory strategies in tobacco product regulation. This includes lessons learned and challenges encountered in developing and implementing menthol related regulation. The publication offers a description of menthol, a common ingredient in tobacco products, and provides governments with a broad overview of regulatory options, which could guide the formulation of effective regulatory strategies for menthol regulation at country level.
To date, regulators have adopted multiple approaches to restricting the use of menthol. These include a ban in some product categories, a total ban on the use of all flavours and a ban on all products with a perceived menthol flavour. This publication provides useful information on the merits, demerits of the approaches delineated and the lessons learnt from the different approaches to regulating menthol in tobacco products.