Menthol, along with other sweet, fruity and candy flavors in tobacco products make tobacco products taste better and feel less harsh on the throat, making them more appealing and easier for young people to use. Flavors also create the impression that these products are less harmful than they really are. More than 80% of youth who use tobacco products started with a flavored product and continue to use flavored products.
New York State prohibited the sale of flavored e-cigarettes containing nicotine in 2020. But other flavored tobacco products remain ubiquitous. Menthol flavored cigarettes. Chew and spit tobacco in cherry, apple and peach. Little cigars and cigarillos in blueberry, grape and chocolate.
CDTFC’s most recent visits to local licensed tobacco retailers found that the only flavored tobacco products available in ALL stores were cigars, little cigars and cigarillos. What’s more, nearly half of all stores were selling flavored cigars for $1 or less, making them even more appealing to youth.
It’s no wonder that cigars and cigarillos are the most popular combustible tobacco product among youth tobacco users. In fact, NYS high school students use these products 2.5x more than cigarettes.
Tobacco products shouldn’t be sweet, cheap, and easy to get. Join our efforts to create the first tobacco-free generation.