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U.S. Teens Turning to Flavored Tobacco — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
October 24, 2013

U.S. Teens Turning to Flavored Tobacco

By Kelly Young

Roughly two out of five adolescent smokers in the U.S. say they smoke flavored tobacco products, according to a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

In 2011, CDC researchers surveyed nearly 19,000 middle and high school students nationwide about their tobacco use. Among students who currently smoked, 42% said they had smoked flavored little cigars or cigarettes within the past 30 days. Flavored tobacco smoking was more common among non-Hispanic whites and older students. People who were smoking flavored products were less likely to say they were thinking about quitting, compared with other smokers.

Roughly 35% of cigarette smokers said they had recently smoked flavored cigarettes, but the authors say this is likely a misclassification since cigarette flavors besides menthol were banned in 2009. Instead, these students could have been smoking little cigars, which look similar to cigarettes. Nearly 80% of the little cigars market share is made up of flavored brands.

Reader Comments (1)

DONALD SHIFRIN Physician, Pediatrics/Adolescent Medicine, Bellevue Washington

Just like alcopops, flavored alcohol beverages, the tobacco industry will continue to market nicotine delivery products to entice teens to begin a habit that will quickly result in addiction.

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