A recent report from the centers for disease control and prevention found that more than two out of every five middle and high school students who smoke either use flavored lit-tle cigars or flavored cigarettes. The report, based on data gath- ered from the National youth Tobacco survey and published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, also found that close to 60% of teens who smoke flavored little cigars are not considering quitting, compared to 49% of other cigar smokers.
The Family smoking prevention and Tobacco control act of 2009 prohibited the use of flavors, except menthol, in ciga- rettes. Manufacturers have found a way around this regulation with “little cigars,” which look like cigarettes and are available alongside them in stores. These come in a variety of candy and fruit flavorings. in addition to offering flavors that young peo- ple enjoy, little cigars are taxed at a lower rate at the state level than cigarettes, making them more affordable for youths.
According to the report, sales of little cigars increased 240 percent from 1997 to 2007. These little cigars cause as many health problems as cigarettes, flavored or otherwise, accord- ing to cdc director Tom Frieden, Md, Mph. Tim Mcafee, Md, MPH, the director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking, says little cigars contain the same ingredients as cigarettes, making them in no way a safe alternative to cigarettes.
For the full report, see King Ba et al, J Adolesc Health 2013;online ahead of print or visit http://bit.ly/1ivet8i.
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