Effective tobacco policies are important for reducing the harm of tobacco use and can have a broad impact at the population level. This review provides an overview of how clinical science can inform tobacco policies with a focus on policies related to flavored tobacco products, using menthol cigarettes as an illustrative example. Specifically, this review summarizes the role of flavors in tobacco use and the history of regulation of flavored tobacco products by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), provides an overview of clinical research methods used to contribute to the scientific evidence to inform FDA tobacco policies, discusses key findings related to menthol tobacco products using these methods, and proposes future directions for clinical research. As the tobacco marketplace continues to evolve with new products and flavor chemicals, ongoing clinical science will be essential for establishing evidence-based policies to protect public health and reduce tobacco-related health disparities.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 20 is May 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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