Flavored tobacco draws in teens, according to study

ST. PAUL, Minn. - They come brightly packaged in flavors like strawberry and grape.

Now a new study by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows more teens are smoking flavored tobacco products.

Published in theJournal of Adolescent Health, the study said four out of ten teen smokers smoke flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes.

"They mask the harshness of tobacco, and because of that, they're particularly used for kids and they're more likely to result in kids getting addicted," said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden.

Bob Moffitt, spokesperson for theAmerican Lung Association in Saint Paul, said that flavored little cigars look like cigarettes.

"They put a little bit of tobacco into the wrapper which they color brown and call it a cigar," said Moffitt.

But flavored little cigars cost much less. According to Moffitt, that's because cigars are taxed differently.

"A pack of cigarettes today might cost around eight dollars here in Minnesota while a pack of little cigars might be sold for just a few dollars," said Moffitt.

The study also found teens who smoke flavored little cigars were less likely to think about quitting than those who smoke regular ones.

Altadis, USA, which makes a brand offlavored little cigars, said in a statement to NBC, "We support efforts at retail to only sell products to adults."

Still, experts think flavored tobacco products are a gateway to smoking for youth.


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