It's not candy! How 'cheap and sweet' fruit-flavored CIGARS are getting teenagers hooked on tobacco
They found that eight per cent of men and two per cent of women said they had smoked a cigar in the past 30 days, but 11 per cent of people between ages 18 and 25 years old had smoked a cigar - more than any other age group.
WHAT ARE FRUIT-FLAVORED CIGARS?
Flavored cigars are smaller than classic cigars and similar in size and shape to cigarettes.
Popular flavors include mint, peach, strawberry and grape.
The sweetness can mask the harshness and taste of tobacco, making smoking a more pleasurable experience for first-timers.
They are also considerably cheaper than regular cigars, often selling for less than $1, making them accessible to a young audience.
Cancer.org notes that despite the sweet taste and low price, flavored cigars carry many of the same risks of other tobacco products which can include high blood pressure, cancer, lung problems and fertility issues.
Three quarters of cigar smokers reported a usual brand that offers flavored varieties, according to the results published in the journal Tobacco Control.
People who smoked cigarettes or those who smoked cigars daily were more likely to report using a flavored brand. Flavored varieties were also more popular among females, African Americans and people under age 35.
Cristine D. Delnevo, who led the study, told Reuters: 'The cigar market is the most heavily flavored of all tobacco products.
'For decades, tobacco industry internal documents have highlighted that flavors appeal to youth and young people.'
She added: 'It is important to remember that youth experiment with multiple tobacco products, not just cigarettes.
'In fact, the most recent data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show that rates of current cigarette and cigar use do not differ among adolescent males.'
Public health messaging in the past largely focused on cigarettes, she said.