For years, the tobacco industry targeted young Americans through its marketing materials and products. The example that probably pops into your head is the highly controversial “Joe Camel” cartoon figure from the 1980’s and 90’s. As you probably have noticed, they’re at it again! This time they’re luring kids through the marketing and promotion of flavored tobacco products like e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah and more.
hero_image_alt_text===Is this candy or tobacco?
thumbnail_alt_text===Share your thoughts with the FDA today!
Flavored tobacco products like gummy bear and cotton candy e-cigarettes or chocolate and mixed berry cigars are heavily marketed online, in convenience stores and gas stations and any place that sells tobacco products, attracting the eyes of minors. As the use of products like e-cigarettes has increased so has the number of flavors offered. There are literally thousands of flavors available on the market and there is no coincidence that the number of children and adolescents who use these products has increased dramatically! Data from the FDA’s Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health found that 81% of youth age 12-17 and nearly 86% of young adults age 18-24 who have used a tobacco product say that the first tobacco product they ever used was flavored!
The American Heart Association wants to put a stop to this dangerous trend by banning all flavors in tobacco products, but we can’t do it alone. Fortunately, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is considering how best to regulate flavors in tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah and they’ve asked the public to weigh in. This allows citizens to have a voice in the future of tobacco regulation in the United States and we can’t miss out on the opportunity!
Some may argue that flavored tobacco doesn’t attract children, but studies have shown that the majority of kids report using e-cigarettes and cigars “because they come in flavors I like.” The availability of flavors is one of the top reasons kids report experimenting with e-cigarettes, which are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth.
Millions of lives have been lost to and continue to be impacted by the dangers of tobacco use. The American Heart Association thinks enough is enough! Please join our effort to put an end to flavored tobacco by submitting your own, personalized comment to the FDA, urging them to ban flavored tobacco products. These comments can be brief but are critical if we want to end this disturbing trend. Please submit your comments today!