Publication Title: 
Public Health Reports
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This article reviews Boston's 2012 cigar packaging regulation and its impact on young people's access to inexpensive flavored cigars. 

To address concerns about cigar use among young people, the City of Boston created, passed and implemented its first cigar packaging regulation in 2012. A recent evaluation of the regulation found citywide compliance with the regulation, increases in the mean sale price of single-packaged cigars by 115 percent, and that substantially fewer retailers are selling single cigars. The regulation has reduced disparities in the availability of inexpensive cigars in Boston neighborhoods, many of which have racial, ethnic, and income disparities. Additionally, following Boston's lead, many other municipalities have enacted cigar packaging regulations — to date, 117 of the 351 municipalities in Massachussetts have enacted similar regulations.

The researchers suggest that Boston's successful experience enacting and enforcing this regulation hightlights the possibilities of local public health laws without waiting for state and/or federal regulatory action.