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Orlando Warns Against Candy-Flavored Tobacco

March 06, 2015

On February 27, 2015, Mayor Buddy Dyer of the City of Orlando signed a proclamation urging tobacco retailers to restrict the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners and the Winter Garden City Commissioners passed resolutions urging tobacco retailers to restrict the sale and marketing of flavored tobacco products.  Over 200 similar resolutions and proclamations have been passed in cities and counties across the state over the last 5 years.

Fruit- and candy-flavored cigarettes were banned under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (2009). However, menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, cigarillos and smokeless products were not included.

There are increasingly more non-cigarette products available in Orange County, which youth are using. Tobacco products in flavors like kiwi-strawberry, chocolate and sour apple are available across the state despite the overwhelming evidence that these deadly products appeal to youth and lead to a lifetime of tobacco addiction.

“In Orange County, 1 in 8 youth between the ages of 11-17 has tried flavored tobacco products,” said Lesli Ahonkhai, assistant director, for the department of health in Orange County. “Many children and teens mistakenly believe these products are less harmful than their non-flavored counterparts.”

More than Just Cigarettes

The flavoring and lower costs of these non-cigarette smoked tobacco products make them especially appealing to youth. All tobacco products cause cancer, heart disease and other smoking-related diseases. Smokeless tobacco includes chew, dip, snus and a host of emerging products. Traditional smokeless products, like chew and dip, contain 28 cancer-causing agents. Users of these products have an 80 percent higher risk of oral cancers and a 60 percent higher risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer.

Sweet Deception

With cigarette smoking rates on the decline, the tobacco industry has created products and strategies that attract a new generation of tobacco users. The array of flavored tobacco products that appeal to youth present new challenges and concerns in the fight against tobacco use.

Learn more about the dangers of candy-flavored tobacco and how you can help protect youth from this sweet deception. Visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/flavoredtobacco.  

ABOUT TOBACCO FREE FLORIDA

Tobacco Free Florida is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund.  The program is managed by the Florida Department of Health, specifically the Bureau of Tobacco Free Florida. 

Tobacco users interested in quitting are encouraged to use one of the state’s three ways to quit.  To learn about Tobacco Free Florida and the state’s free quit resources, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.