4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

TAKE ACTION

4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

TAKE ACTION

Recent Poll Shows Public Support for Ending the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

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Nearly 2/3 of Mainers favor ending the sale of flavored tobacco products

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3/4 of Mainers are concerned about young people in their community becoming addicted to tobacco products

Flavors Hook Kids in Maine

Tobacco companies have developed an array of menthol, mint, candy, and fruit-flavored products in colorful packaging to attract new users and keep them using tobacco. Winter Menthol. Strawberry Lemonade. Blue Razz. Banana Ice. Bubble Gum. Cotton Candy. The tobacco industry knows that 95% of adults who smoke start by age 21, so these flavored products aren’t for adults. Flavors hook kids!

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1 in 3

Maine high school students have used e-cigarettes

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85%

of middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes use flavored products

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1 in 5

Maine high school students are currently using a tobacco product – rates well above the national average

There are too many flavored tobacco products on the market.

Winter Menthol. Peppermint Mocha. Cherry Crush. Banana Blast. Pop Tart. Cotton Candy. Flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes, undermine Maine’s efforts to reduce youth tobacco use. While almost all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, more than half of Maine youth who use e-cigarettes say they think it’s just harmless flavoring.

Menthol cigarettes are the most dangerous flavored tobacco product.

Menthol flavoring makes it easier for youth to start smoking and become addicted to cigarettes. Menthol masks the harsh taste of tobacco and numbs the throat, making the smoke easier to inhale more deeply. People who smoke menthol cigarettes are also less likely to successfully quit smoking than other people who smoke.

The tobacco industry has a long and lethal history of targeting kids and other communities with flavored products.

Tobacco industry documents reveal aggressive marketing, including cheaper prices and more advertising of menthol cigarettes in African American neighborhoods. The tobacco industry has also targeted the lesbian, gay and bisexual community with predatory advertising in LGBTQ+ magazines and sponsorships of local Pride events and celebrations.

Maine is seeing an explosion of e-cigarette use (also known as “vaping”) among youth.

This epidemic started with Juul, a high-tech device disguised as a USB drive that comes in a variety of flavors to entice kids. One Juul pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. This high concentration is a serious concern for youth, who are already uniquely susceptible to nicotine addiction. Juul is just one example of how the tobacco industry has adapted their products and their marketing tactics to attract their “replacement smokers.”

Tobacco use puts our kids’ health and futures at risk. Smoking causes disease and disability, harming nearly every organ of the body. There is also growing evidence that e-cigarettes can harm lung health. And now, the U.S. Surgeon General warns that nicotine exposure during adolescence and young adulthood can cause addiction and long-term harm to brain development, stating, “No matter how it’s delivered, nicotine is harmful for youth and young adults.

Flavors aren’t for adults. Flavors hook Maine kids.

It’s time to act.

Help give Maine youth and young adults a fair shot at a healthy and productive future, free from tobacco addiction. Ask your lawmakers to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Maine.

1 Juul pod delivers about the same amount of nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes.

As the world combats the coronavirus (COVID-19), it has never been more important to keep our lungs healthy. One of the best ways to do this is to quit smoking and vaping – and to prevent young people from ever starting in the first place.

Partners

Access Health
American Academy of Pediatrics, Maine Chapter
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Apex Youth Connection
Aroostook Mental Health Center
Bangor Public Health
Be The Influence
Boys & Girls Clubs Across Maine
Brunswick Teen Center
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Center for Black Health & Equity
Central Maine Healthcare
Christian Civic League of Maine
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
Defend Our Health
EqualityMaine
Healthy Acadia
Healthy Androscoggin
Healthy Communities of the Capital Area

Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance
Maine Children’s Alliance
Maine Conservation Voters
MaineHealth
Maine Medical Association
Maine Public Health Association
Maine Recreation and Parks Association
Mid Coast Youth Center
New England Arab American Organization
Northern Light Health
OutMaine
Partnership for Children’s Oral Health
Planned Parenthood of Northern New England
Portland Recovery Community Center
River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition
Sagadahoc County Board of Health
Tobacco-Free Maine Works
U.S. PIRG
Westbrook Partners for Prevention

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