Why does a deadly, addictive product that is supposed to be for adults look and smell like candy?
Chocolate, caramel, cinnamon apple… These are just a few of the thousands of sweet and fruity flavors available in tobacco products. The FDA banned the sale of flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in 2009. But flavored e-cigarettes, e-liquids, cigars, hookah, and chewing tobacco continue to be sold. These products use kid-friendly flavors, colorful packaging, and low prices to entice young people. The sweet flavors mask the harshness of the nicotine and keep kids coming back until they become addicted.
Lifelong addiction often starts out sweet.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 80% of young people who have ever used a tobacco product started with a flavored product. 2018 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal a surge in use between 2017 and 2018 with one in five high school students and one in twenty middle school students currently using e-cigarettes.
Santa Cruz County Policy Makers Support Tobacco Laws that Protect Our Kids
Local policy makers understand that restricting the sale of flavored tobacco products is a critical step to preventing another generation of young people from living with a lifetime of addiction. In November of 2018, the City of Santa Cruz became the first jurisdiction in the County to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol. By the end of 2019, the cities of Capitola and Watsonville, and the County Unincorporated Area, had all passed similar bans that will go into effect on Janaury 1, 2020. We thank these policy makers for their leadership!
Help Us Spread the Word about the Dangers of Flavored Tobacco Products
Come to TEC meetings to strategize about next steps! Members have the opportunity to participate in activities such as: conducting public opinion polls about flavored tobacco products; conducting retail store surveys; attending educational meetings with local policy makers; writing letters, articles and op-eds for local publications.
Flavored Tobacco Resources
California Department of Public Health
CDC Tip Sheet for Parents on Talking with Your Teen About E-cigarettes