2 out of 5 middle school and highschool students report using flavored cigars or cigarettes, and most do not plan on quitting anytime soon.
The report comes from the CDC and is the first attempt to gauge flavored cigar / cigarette usage among children and young adults. The results from from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
The Surge of Flavored Cigar Smokers
between 1997 and 2007 cigar purchases have gone up 240%, with flavored cigars accounting for 80% of those sales. A shocking number when most people think of cigar smokers as weathered businessmen smoking their thick gauge cigars in their fine suits. That is no longer the case, most cigar smokers now are masking the harsh tobacco smoke with fruity flavors and they are younger than ever before.
88% of adult smokers started smoking by the age of 18 according to the CDC.
With these flavored cigars being targeted toward middle school and highschoolers. The efforts to minimize young smokers are being curbed by the tobacco industries innovative new way to get them hooked younger and younger. While they claim they do not target these age groups because they do not gather data from anyone under the age of 21, it is undeniable that these flavored cigars are the child friendly way to get kids hooked on smoking.
Smoking is still the number one cause of preventable disease in the United States, making it an extremely important issue to address whether you are a smoker or not.
In 2009 President Obama signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Control Act, which banned the sale of flavored cigarettes but not flavored cigars.
Flavored Cigars – Health Hazard For Kids
Flavored cigars are similar in size to a cigarette, they are sold in packs much like cigarettes and are taxed at a much lower rate than cigarettes. The difference is these small flavored cigars are wrapped in a tobacco leaf or similar wrap as oppose to cigarettes which are wrapped in paper. You can also buy these flavored cigars individually which means that teens can walk into a convenience store with pocket change and purchase a one of these flavored cigars.
The use of cigarettes among youth has steadily declined over the past few decades, which was a very promising statistic. However with the new addition of these flavored cigars, it is a new strategy to get kids smoking and get the hooked for life. With no signs of our youth slowing down on the purchase and use of these flavored cancer sticks.
In 2012 Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California, a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, asking the FDA to stop tobacco companies from “exploiting loopholes and continuing to addict youth.”
Rep. Harry Waxman’s letter highlighted the tobacco industries internal documents that strategized ways to develop new products that could help take “advantage of tax and regulatory loopholes.”
Kids In A Candy Store
With a whole new line of products like these flavored cigars and flavored Zig Zag papers, our children are being targeted and the tobacco industry is succeeding in converting them into lifelong smokers.