Flavors Hook Kids in Maine
Tobacco use in Maine has skyrocketed, fueled largely by e-cigarette use (also known as “vaping”). Tobacco companies have developed an array of candy and fruit-flavored products in colorful packaging to attract new users and mask the harsh taste of tobacco. The tobacco industry knows that 95% of adult smokers start by age 21. Flavors aren’t for adults, flavors hook kids and keep them using tobacco.
1 in 4
Maine high school students now use e-cigarettes – a rate that has nearly doubled in the past 2 years!
8 out of 10
middle and high school students who use e-cigarettes use flavored products
5 out of 10
youth (ages 12-17) who smoke use menthol cigarettes
7 out of 10
African American youth who smoke use menthol cigarettes
There are now over 15,500 e-cigarette flavors and 200 cigar flavors. And more keep coming.
Winter Mocha Mint. Cherry Crush. Banana Blast. Pop Tart. Cotton Candy. These flavored tobacco products, including flavored cigars, chewing tobacco, and loose tobacco, undermine Maine’s efforts to reduce youth tobacco use. While 99% of e-cigarettes contain nicotine, more than half of Maine youth think it’s “just flavoring.”
Menthol is the most dangerous flavor of all.
Menthol flavoring makes it easier to start and harder to quit using tobacco products. Menthol masks the harsh taste and numbs the throat, making the toxic smoke easier to inhale, and inhale more deeply, which causes harmful particles to settle deeper inside the lungs. People who smoke menthol cigarettes show greater signs of nicotine addiction and are less likely to successfully quit smoking than other smokers.
The youth e-cigarette explosion started with Juul, a sleek, high-tech e-cigarette that looks like a USB flash drive.
Juul is small, easy to hide, and comes in flavors that entice kids while delivering a powerful nicotine hit. One Juul pod delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes. Juul is just one example of how the tobacco industry has adapted — changing their products and sharpening their tactics.
The tobacco industry has a long and lethal history of systematically 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.
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.
Help us end the sale of all flavored tobacco products in Maine! Sign up today and we’ll keep you updated about ways you can educate policymakers, share information with your networks, participate in events, and more. If your organization would like to partner with us, please complete our partner form.