Flavoring

Restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products

Minnesotans agree: We can do more to prevent kids from becoming addicted. Menthol-, candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products are attractive to kids and can lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction and disease. Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation supports restricting the sale of these products, to create a healthier future for our kids.

  • The tobacco industry uses kid-friendly menthol, candy and fruit flavors to attract the next generation of smokers.

  • Most kids start smoking by using flavored tobacco products.

  • Flavored products mask the harshness of tobacco, but are just as addictive and dangerous as other products. 

The tobacco industry uses kid-friendly menthol, candy and fruit flavors to attract the next generation of smokers.

  • Flavored products are attractive to youth and young adults.1
  • Internal documents show the tobacco industry deliberately uses flavors to attract the next generation of smokers.2,3,4

  • A Lorillard executive famously wrote “the base of our business is the high-school student” when referring to Newport, a top-selling menthol brand.5

Most kids start using tobacco with flavored products.

  • 80 percent of youth tobacco users use fruit-, candy- or menthol-flavored tobacco.6

  • Cheap cigars are commonly sold in sweet flavors, and nationally, high-school students are nearly twice as likely as adults to report smoking cigars.7

  • In Minnesota, almost 40 percent of high-school students have tried e-cigarettes, which come in kid-friendly flavors like gummy bear and cotton candy.8

The tobacco industry markets menthol products to youth, African Americans and other specific populations.

  • Tobacco industry documents show efforts to market menthol products to African Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities, and young people.9,10
  • A 2013 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) report showed that menthol cigarettes increase youth smoking initiation, lead to greater addiction and decrease successes in quitting smoking.11
  • Studies show higher numbers of menthol advertisements in storefronts of minority-populated areas and in magazines whose main audiences are African American and other targeted populations.12,13
  • Menthol tobacco products appeal to youth. Among Minnesota adolescent smokers, 34.1 percent report smoking menthol cigarettes.14 In comparison, only 25 percent of Minnesota adult smokers used menthol in 2014.15

Flavored products may mask the harshness of tobacco, but they are just as addictive and dangerous as other tobacco products. 

  • Tobacco products contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that can lead to addiction and disruption of attention and learning.16 
  • Research shows that menthol products make it more likely that new users will become addicted and make it harder for them to quit.17 
  • If used as intended, cigarettes will kill more than half their users.18,19 It’s common sense to restrict where these deadly products are sold.

For more information, view our fact sheet.



 

1 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. 2012.

2 Gemma JL (RJR Tobacco). Memorandum from JL Gemma, Marketing Development Department to Marketing Development Department Committee at RJ Reynolds Tobacco Co. Aug 16. 1985; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/xgm15d00/pdf.

3 Marketing Innovations Inc (Brown and Williamson Tobacco). Youth cigarettes - new concepts. In. http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/wwq54a99/pdf Accessed Dec 5, 2014: UCSF Tobacco secret documents; 1972.

4 Ritchy AP (RJR Tobacco). Apple Wine Cigarette Project. 1972; Available from: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/buq49d00/pdf.

5 Achy TL. Tobacco industry product information. 1978; http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/nlt13c00.

6 Ambrose BK, et al., Flavored tobacco product use among U.S. youth aged 12-17 Years, 2013-2014. JAMA. 2015.

7 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Not Your Grandfather’s Cigar. https://www.tobaccofreekids.org/assets/content/what_we_do/industry_watch/cigar_report/2013CigarReport_Full.pdf.

8 Minnesota Department of Health. Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2017 Youth Tobacco Survey..

9 Yerger VB. Menthol's potential effects on nicotine dependence: A tobacco industry perspective. Tobacco Control. 2011;20(Suppl. 2):ii29-ii36.

10 Reynolds R. Project SCUM. December 12, 1995. https://www.industrydocumentslibrary.ucsf.edu/tobacco/docs/#id=sfck0098

11 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Preliminary scientific evaluation of the possible public health effects of menthol versus non-menthol cigarettes. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/UCM361598.pdf.

12 Landrine H, Klonoff EA, Fernandez S, et al. Cigarette advertising in Black, Latino and White magazines, 1998-2002: an exploratory investigation. Ethnicity & Disease. 2005;15.

13 Seidenberg AB, Caughey RW, Rees VW, Connolly GN. Storefront cigarette advertising differs by community demographic profile. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2010;24(6):e26-e31.

14 Minnesota Department of Health.  Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2017 Youth Tobacco Survey. February 2018.

15 ClearWay MinnesotaSM, Minnesota Department of Health Minnesota Adult Tobacco Survey: Tobacco Use in Minnesota, 2014 Update. 2015.

16 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. E-Cigarette Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2016. 

17 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health. 2014.

18 Prabhat Jha, M.D., Chinthanie Ramasundarahettige, M.Sc., Victoria Landsman, Ph.D., et al 21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States. N Engl J Med 2013;368:341-50

19 Banks E, Joshy G, Weber MF, et al. Tobacco smoking and all-cause mortality in a large Australian cohort study: findings from a mature epidemic with current low smoking prevalence. BMC Medicine. 2015; 13:38. doi:10.1186/s12916-015-0281-z.

  • Outline of Minnesota

    Our Mission

    Minnesotans for a Smoke-Free Generation is a coalition of Minnesota organizations that share a common goal of saving Minnesota youth from a lifetime of addiction to tobacco. Each year in Minnesota tobacco use is responsible for more than 6,300 deaths and more than $3 billion in preventable health care costs and 95 percent of adult smokers started before the age of 21. The coalition supports policies that reduce youth smoking, including keeping tobacco prices high, raising the tobacco sale age to 21, limiting access to candy-, fruit- and menthol-flavored tobacco and funding future tobacco prevention programs.

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