First the good news: cigarette use among middle school and high school students is down substantially since 2000. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.3 percent of middle school students and 15.8 percent of high school students used cigarettes in 2011. That’s down from 10.7 percent and 30 percent respectively in 2000.
Now the bad news: the use of cigars, especially little cigars, is up. The CDC reported that cigar smoking has grown more popular among high school students.
Cigars are less regulated than cigarettes, and in many cases are taxed less, which provides youth with a more affordable tobacco alternative. The tobacco industry has taken advantage of regulatory loopholes and is making cigars more cigarette-like in size and is even selling candy and fruit flavored cigars – a marketing ploy specifically aimed at children, critics contend.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) found the CDC report troubling and called for a ban on flavored cigars. While candy and fruit flavored cigarettes were banned in 2009, flavored cigars were exempted from that ban.
“Flavored cigars are designed to attract young adults, and the new CDC report indicates Big Tobacco is succeeding in its mission,” Lautenberg said in a released statement. “The federal government must use its full authority over the tobacco industry and ban flavored cigars before the next generation of tobacco users are hooked.”
Different product but same old Big Tobacco playbook. Tobacco is still the nation’s leading killer. Each year, an estimated 443,000 Americans die prematurely due to smoking and another 8.6 million live with serious illnesses caused by tobacco.
If you have any questions concerning tobacco litigation, contact a Florida tobacco lawsuit lawyer at Farah & Farah at (800) 533-3555.