In mid-March, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids released a new report entitled, Not Your Grandfather’s Cigar: A New Generation of Cheap & Sweet Cigars Threatens a New Generation of Kids. The report outlines how an explosion of cheap, flavored cigars in recent years has driven a two-fold increase in annual sales of cigars in the United States – from 6 billion cigars to more than 13 billion in the last 12 years – and changed the demographics of cigar smoking. Cheap, flavored, small cigars that appeal to young people are marketed aggressively and have resulted in high school kids and young adults being twice as likely as their older counterparts to be cigar smokers.
Unfortunately, a lack of regulation of cigars by the FDA enables manufacturers to modify cigarettes to evade the ban on flavored cigarettes and to aggressively market cheap, sweet cigar products that appeal to youth. The Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA the authority to assert its jurisdiction over all tobacco products through a rule-making process. The FDA has announced its intention to regulate all tobacco products, but has yet to take action to do so.
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