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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Tobacco Products

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FDA Parental Advisory on Flavored Tobacco Products - What You Need To Know

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Many types of tobacco products are made to taste like vanilla, orange, chocolate, cherry, coffee and other flavors. These kinds of flavors make tobacco products especially appealing to kids, and can lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction. The FDA is encouraging parents to understand the serious risks associated with flavored tobacco products.

Flavored tobacco products:

  • Appeal to kids.
    Young people are much more likely to use flavored tobacco products than adults, and tobacco industry documents show that companies have designed flavored cigarettes with kids in mind. For example, one tobacco company suggested creating a honey-flavored cigarette to attract teenagers who like sweet products.
  • Disguise the bad taste of tobacco.
    Candy and fruit flavors mask the bad taste of tobacco, making it easier for kids to start using tobacco products. Once they start using one tobacco product, however, they are more likely to experiment with others.
  • Are just as addictive as regular tobacco products.
    Scientists have found that many kids think flavored tobacco products are safer and less addictive than regular tobacco products. This is not true. All tobacco products contain nicotine, the primary addictive chemical that makes it so hard to quit using tobacco.
  • Have the same harmful health effects as regular tobacco products.
    Flavored cigarettes, cigars and pipes are not less dangerous than regular tobacco products. Smoking any kind of tobacco product increases your risk of developing serious health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. Tobacco products that you don’t smoke, like snuff and chewing tobacco, have also been shown to cause gum disease and cancers of the mouth.

 

For more information, see www.fda.gov.

  1. Beginning September 22, 2009, it will be illegal to sell cigarettes containing certain characterizing flavors except menthol anywhere in the United States. If you see flavored cigarettes for sale, please report it to the FDA. There are three ways to contact us:
  2. Call the hotline. 1-877-CTP-1373
    Send us a letter. 9200 Corporate Blvd, Rockville, MD 20850-3229
  3. Submit a report online. www.fda.gov/flavoredtobacco