Candy-flavored tobacco products -- a lump of coal for our children’s health
Take a look around this holiday season and you’ll see cheery colors on Christmas lights, cookies, ornaments and wrapping paper. Unfortunately, we can now add tobacco products to that list.
Targeting our children, new novelty tobacco products mimic candies, breath mints, or even water and taste like chocolate, vanilla, mint, dreamsicle, berry, sweet red wine, peach, strawberry, or mango to name a few. To be more noticeable, some stores display them next to candy and on a lower self, often nearly indistinguishable in packaging from non-tobacco products.
An internal document from the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, now a subsidiary of Altria, confirms corporate marketing strategy: “After a period of time, there is a natural progression of product switching to brands that are more full-bodied, less-flavored, have more concentrated ‘tobacco taste’ than the entry brand.”
Nicotine is addictive whether you inhale it or smoke it because it goes to the brain. So despite their flavors and packaging, the products are “gateway drugs” for recruiting new customers/users to buy product. Of course, the burden of paying for the corporate “externalized cost” for smoking-related disease falls on you.
If you’re interested in learning more about these products and keeping them out of kids’ hands, contact the Tobacco Free Community Partnership Dodge Jefferson Waukesha through the Connect Section at www.tobwis.org.