Tobacco Companies Sweeten The Brand To Attract Youth

Mar 20, 2017

Credit Wikimedia Commons Craig Pennington

A new report details the tobacco industry's efforts to market tobacco to youth and a local anti-tobacco advocate says parents need to be on the lookout. Several health groups, including the American Cancer Society, issued the report saying e-cigarettes are now sold in more than 7000 flavors, cigars in 250 flavors like Gummy Bear, Cotton Candy, Chocolate and Cherry Dynamite.

Locally, Community Health Specialist Corie Zelazoski says the flavored marketing of tobacco is geared toward young people...

"...and what we're hearing from the kids we work and speak with is because they are seeing these candy-flavored products they think they are safe and not as harmful as traditional tobacco products...."

Zelazoski says they are working to make all retailers aware of these flavored-enhanced tobacco products...

"....we do have a little bit of a higher sales rate here in Oneida county and we are asking retailers to check ID for all products that are tobacco. But there's some confusing surrounding these candy-flavored products. Not only are they candy flavored they are also made to look like other candy products. They're not necessarily kept behind the sales counter....."

A government study found that 81 percent of kids who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product Research has found that flavored tobacco products are more likely to be used by youth and young adults than by older tobacco users.