Candy-flavored tobacco comes in many forms; bidis, cigarillos, cigars, snuf, snus, hookah, dissolvable tobacco, chew, and tobacco leaves. Flavoring these products masks the harshness of the tobacco and appeal to youth. Here is more information on candy-flavored tobacco from Tobacco Free Florida:
- Studies of youth expectations around flavored tobacco products like bidis and hookahs have found that young smokers report choosing flavored products over non-flavored cigarettes because they “taste better” and are perceived to be “safer.”
- According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), young people are much more likely to use flavored tobacco products than adults, and tobacco industry documents show that companies have designed flavored cigarettes with kids in mind.
- Under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the FDA power to regulate the tobacco industry, the sale of cigarettes containing certain characterizing flavors other than menthol became illegal as of September 22, 2009. The ban currently exempts menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes.
- The FDA is currently examining options for regulating both menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco products other than cigarettes, including chewing tobacco, cigars, cigarillos, bidis, dip, shisha, snuff, snus and other smokeless tobacco products. Most of these products can currently be purchased at any convenience store.
- In Florida, one in six kids between the ages of 11 and 17 had ever tried flavored tobacco.
- In 2011, 19.7 percent of Florida high school students had tried a flavored cigar and 9.8 percent had smoked a flavored cigar on one or more occasions during the past 30 days.
- In 2011, 7.9 percent of Florida high school students had tried flavored smokeless tobacco and 4.6 percent of high school students had used flavored smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days.
To download a candy-flavored tobacco fact sheet for Pinellas County, click here: Pinellas Flavored Tobacco Fact Sheet
What can we do about this?
The Tobacco Free Coalition of Pinellas offers presentations to community organizations regarding this topic to increase awareness and form partnerships to educate our lawmakers on this issue. Our SWAT (Students Working Against Tobacco) Chapters work during the school year to educate peers and lawmakers about this and other tobacco control issues. If you are interested in scheduling a presentation on this topic or partner with our coalition, please contact us at (727) 588-4040 ext. 3171.