Teens Exchanging Cigarettes For Flavored Cigars

Teen smoking overall is down. That’s the good news. The bad news is that more teenagers are smoking flavored mini-cigars.

In case you’re not familiar with the latest fad in tobacco products, mini-cigars come in flavors like strawberry, watermelon, vanilla, and chocolate, and are wrapped in colorful packages.

And they’re becoming popular partly because young smokers think they look more attractive than regular cigars, but also because teens believe they are less addictive.

Not so.

Mini-Cigars No Less Addictive

From Kane County Chronicle:

“You have the same cancer-causing chemicals but wrapped in flavors that don’t let you experience the harsh sensation of cigar or tobacco use,” said Donald Shell, interim director for Maryland’s Center for Health Promotion, Education, Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation.

How Many Teenagers Are Smoking?

From The Washington Post:

Nationally, cigar smoking is the second-most-common form of tobacco use among youth, after cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 14 percent of high school students smoke cigars (18.6 percent among boys; 8.8 percent among girls), according to 2009 CDC data.

But in some states, cigar smoking among some youth groups is more popular than cigarette smoking. In Massachusetts, 18 percent of high school boys smoke cigarettes, but 22 percent smoke cigars, according to 2009 CDC data. A study in Ohio found cigars to be the most popular tobacco product among high school students. In New Jersey, researchers found cigarette use dropped by 29 percent between 2001 and 2004, but for the first time ever, more high school boys reported smoking cigars (17.2 percent) than cigarettes (15.9 percent).

In Maryland, another state where the number of young people smoking little cigars has soared, officials are fighting back. Starting next week, the state will launch ads on billboards, buses and trains. The home page of the campaign Web site, thecigartrap.com, shows youngsters running to an ice cream truck with a giant cigar on its roof. “No matter how they sugarcoat it . . . cigars kill,” a warning reads.

Tobacco Manufacturers Trying To Hook Young People?

Hum, could this be another ploy by those tobacco companies to recruit more customers? They understand well that hooking young people to their products early on will probably make them a life-long addict.

The Food and Drug Administration banned flavored cigarettes in 2009, but no such ban applies to cigars. Selling tobacco products to anyone younger than 18 is illegal, but of course not all stores check identification. Are tobacco manufactures exploiting this loophole in the federal ban on flavored cigarettes?

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Photo Credit: iStock

70 comments

Mike T.
Past Member 4 years ago

The substance you are penning blows out my nous.
best cigars

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Lena T.
Lena T5 years ago

Why blame cigarette companies? They just do their business like everyone else. Why don't we be responsible for ourselves? If teenagers are so easily influenced, why not find a way to defend them from this corruption? Oh, sorry, I forgot - the cigarette companies are to blame!

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Emily Gage
Emily G5 years ago

i would like to say that teens can be easily influenced, but like me there are those who are above the influence. Being in high school right now, i beliee that cigarettes and cigars are not the biggest problem. I see alot more of blunts and alcohol in my fellow studentss. It makes me sick that anyone woud even risk their everything for even just a one smoke!

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Neil A.
Neil A5 years ago

As I hate the smell of smokes especially cigars which so often smell like shit,I hate it when smokers come in my house were smoking is banned or the car, their clothes smell so vile,so must be poisonouse?
Cigarette companies have no ethics or morals!

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Kari Kuwamura
Kari Kuwamura5 years ago

Kids are probably buying them as wraps for a blunt. They empty the tobacco out and insert pot, which requres no ID to purchase.These companies have the right to advertise as they choose as well as all the other junk food and crap advertisement that we stream into ur kids heads when we sit them in front of the TV. It's the parents job to steer their kids onto the right path, and not the company's job to coddle parent responsibility.
Of course I have no kids, but I do work for a non profit where I work with teens daily, and it's up to the positive influence and time we spend with these kids that counts. Keep them busy :)

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Shan D.
Shan D5 years ago

I never did. Not even once.

BTW, my dad, who used to smoke like a chimney and utterly refused to even try to quit, now is completely smoke-free. Of course, he's got dementia and can't remember ever having smoked or having been an alcoholic, so at least that hideous disease is good for something. Just in case, though, I left orders at his nursing home that he is not to be exposed to cigarette smoke for even 2 minutes, nor is he EVER to be offered a drink or permitted so much as a sip of beer (which the residents are allowed to have on special occasions).

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Sonny Honrado
Sonny Honrado5 years ago

I guess every teenager would like a taste of cigarette and cigar.

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Zee Kallah
Past Member 5 years ago

I remember sneaking cigarettes as a teen.

I'm glad I no longer smoke.

Cigars?

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Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

A very easy to influence age group... certainly by unethical tobacco companies.

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Shirley Marsh
Shirley Marsh5 years ago

I guess educating teenagers is a big ask? I think when the hormones burst into action the brain goes on a 'holding pattern'. So naturally they'll just keep on subsidising the global 'killers' - they aren't capable of rational decisions.

Adults are, though, so how can we expect more of our temporarily mentally challenged teens than we do of ourselves? Bit of a 'Catch 22' situation, isn't it?

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