Over 80% of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.
Tobacco companies hook our kids with enticing flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, mango and “smooth menthol.” Albany’s leaders can protect our kids by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products – including flavored e-cigarettes, cigars and menthol cigarettes.
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
Tobacco companies have been hooking our kids for years with enticing flavors, and now they’re scheming to addict another generation of kids by selling products in flavors like gummy bear, cotton candy, banana smash, mango and “smooth menthol.”
In fact, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the Surgeon General and FDA have called “epidemic” levels. In 2018 alone, e-cigarette use among U.S. high school students jumped by 78 percent. The main cause of the problem is Juul, a sleek, high-tech e-cigarette that looks like a USB flash drive – and is small and easy to hide, comes in sweet flavors that entice kids and delivers a powerful nicotine hit.
But Juul isn’t the only problem. There are now over 15,500 e-cigarette flavors and 200 cigar flavors, and more keep coming. These flavored tobacco products undermine Albany’s efforts to reduce youth tobacco use.
Meanwhile, tobacco companies continue to aggressively market menthol-favored cigarettes to kids, African-Americans and other demographic groups as they have for decades. Youth smokers are more likely to use menthol cigarettes than any other age group. Menthol cigarettes pose a tremendous public health threat – they make it easier to start and harder to quit smoking.
To combat this problem, the Albany County Legislature is considering protecting our kids by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, cigars and menthol cigarettes – one of the most effective ways to prevent the industry from addicting our kids.
GET THE FACTS
97% of youth e-cigarette users have used a flavored product in the past month. And over 70% of youth e-cig smokers say they use e-cigs “because they come in flavors I like.”
Juul comes in sweet flavors that appeal to youth, including mango, fruit, creme, mint and cucumber. And 1 Juul pod delivers the same amount of nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes.
Among youth, prevalence of menthol use is highest among African-Americans: seven out of 10 African-American youth smokers smoke menthol cigarettes.
Researchers have identified more than 15,500 unique e-cigarette flavors available online. With their colorful packaging and sweet flavors, flavored tobacco products are often hard to distinguish from the candy displays in stores.