I recently came across something that is too important not to share. In an effort to target a younger market, tobacco companies have developed new products including flavored cigarettes, dissolvable tobacco strips, and spit free chewable tobacco. These “innocent” products are then packaged to resemble gum, candies, and breath mints.
Tobacco use is a serious issue. More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries and murders—combined. Tobacco companies know that in order to stay in business, they need to hook kids before they are old enough to understand the risk, and this is why they have developed these new products. Ninety percent of adult smokers began smoking as teenagers (or younger!), so tobacco companies are trying to reach out to the younger generation with products that look and taste more like regular grocery items but are loaded with addictive and toxic chemicals. Teens report that flavored cigarettes and chewable tobacco taste sweeter and view them as safer than typical tobacco products; meanwhile Big Tobacco is banking on those teens using these flavored products as an entry way to the other tobacco they sell.
Go here to take a quiz to see if you can tell the difference between tobacco product and candy or gum. Then, be sure to take the quiz again with your kids so they can learn the difference as well.