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Update on Newport Non Menthol

Massachusetts included menthol cigarettes under the 2019 Statewide Flavor Restriction on tobacco products, in large part, because the cooling effect of menthol was irrefutably linked to elevated levels of youth tobacco initiation and nicotine addiction. Now, RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company has a new brand of cigarettes called Newport Non Menthol that produces a cooling effect like that of menthol. RJ Reynolds claims Newport Non Menthol circumvents the Statewide Flavor Restriction because they use a chemical that targets only certain flavor nerve receptors in the mouth.    

On September 26, 2023, despite pressure from attorneys for RJ Reynolds, the Chelsea Board of Health disagreed with RJ Reynolds.  After receiving public comments and carefully deliberating the evidence, the Board determined that Newport Non Menthol was a flavored tobacco product under the Statewide Flavor Restriction.  The sale of Newport Non Menthol cigarettes is prohibited in Chelsea.    

RJ Reynolds may file a lawsuit to challenge the decision by the Chelsea Board of Health and any other municipality that enforces this. Municipalities are encouraged to reach out for information before enforcing.
If you need more information contact Cheryl Sbarra at  or Lisa Stevens-Goodnight at or Sarah McColgan at
Sarah McColgan
Mass. Health Officers Association
Tobacco Control Program Director
(413) 636-6418

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