Banning Menthol and Flavored Tobacco

Published by Tobacco Stops With Me on November 2, 2018

A major way to protect youth.

The younger someone starts to smoke or vape, the harder it is to stop. Tobacco companies know this, and they show no shame in their efforts to entice and addict children. How are they doing it? With flavors.

Flavored tobacco, vaping products and menthol cigarettes have grown increasingly popular with kids. Why? Because flavorings make it easier to start using tobacco or vape products. But the nicotine inside of them? It makes it way harder to stop.

Sweet, candy-like flavors are also making it easier for kids to give tobacco and vaping a try… and the nicotine packed inside is forcing them to do it again and again.

While federal law prohibits selling cigarettes with candy and fruit flavors, other tobacco products like little cigars, hookah, smokeless tobacco, vapes and e-cigarettes are fair game. Menthol and other mint tobacco products have been exempted from this ban. Adding these flavors helps mask the harsh tobacco flavor, making it easier to use these deadly products.

Banning menthol cigarettes and flavored tobacco — including vape liquids — is critical to the health of Oklahoma’s youth.

WHY ACT NOW?

Today, 4 out of 5 youth smokers will become adult smokers. It’s a number that Big Tobacco counts on to keep turning a profit. Since half of all adult smokers will die from smoking, tobacco companies need a constant stream of new recruits to stay profitable.

Kids and young adults use flavored tobacco products more than any other age group. By enacting stronger tobacco control policies that ban these flavored products, we can protect thousands of Oklahoma kids from a lifetime of addiction, disease and premature death.

SIGNS OF PROGRESS

In May 2018, San Francisco residents overwhelmingly voted to uphold a ban on all flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes and flavored e-cigarettes. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, have passed laws restricting sales of menthol-flavored tobacco products.

“It was something that we thought we should move forward on to help protect the future health and well-being of the residents of Minneapolis, particularly our youth,” said the council member who co-authored the ordinance.

These bans are sparking momentum for other cities and states to pursue similar legislation.

7 out of 10 Oklahomans believe the tobacco industry targets children and young adults, uses flavors to entice them and lies about the dangers of smoking.

An overwhelming majority of Oklahomans agree that flavorings hook kids. It’s about time we do something about it. By modernizing our tobacco control and prevention policies, we can reverse the terrible toll of tobacco.

Show your support for this issue, and see how other policy changes can protect our youth too.

TAKE ACTION

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