For years, Big Tobacco has been sweetening the deal for first-time smokers.
Cotton candy, gummy bear, berry blend — you name it. Back in the day, a tobacco company considered adding honey to cigarettes because teenagers like sweet products. And with sugary sweet flavors like strawberry cheesecake, we can’t help but wonder what type of new customers they’re trying to get today.
Surprise: young people like candy.
A lot of them like flavored tobacco products, too. In fact, 81% of teenagers who have ever used tobacco started with a flavored product. Which is probably why a few years ago, some people caught on and helped ban tobacco companies from making and selling flavored cigarettes.
But a ton of flavored products are still on the market. Womp. Things like flavored dip, chews, hookah, and cigars attract new smokers every day.
And one flavored cigarette didn’t exactly make the cut.
Menthol, a minty flavor in tobacco products, is the only remaining flavored cigarette on the market. For decades, Big Tobacco has specifically marketed menthols to African Americans — they actually went into inner-city neighborhoods and handed out free menthol cigarettes to teenagers in the 80’s. Seriously.
Let’s be the generation to #FinishFlavors and end smoking for good.