An anti-tobacco advocate says the public might have relaxed about smoking in public, but tobacco companies continue to target youth.
The Northwoods Tobacco-Free Coalition held a "Lunch and Learn" session to talk about the change in corporate tobacco marketing techniques. Many tobacco products are made to look like candy. With fewer adults smoking, the goal, say anti-tobacco advocates is to get younger people interested in tobacco.
Oneida County Tobacco Coordinator Niki Kostrova says the slickly package-candy-looking containers offer a wide variety of products tasting like candy, but have nicotine in them...
"....thousands of people quit tobacco every day and thousands of people die everyday(from tobacco-related illnesses). So really the only new customers are our youth. Statistics show they try to get them before age 18. Statistics show if they don't get them before 18...in those years...they probably won't ever get them. So they try to market those products to those(ages) where they are more susceptible to try the products..."
The companies also use loopholes in tax laws to provide sweet-tasting smoking tobacco that is only taxed a portion of what other tobacco products are taxed. Often these products are cigars. Kostrova says they are always looking for volunteers to help. They honored long-time volunteer Bill Vancos with an award, along with the local youth group, Fight Against Corporate Tobacco or FACT.