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Reports Finds New Kinds of Tobacco Lures for Kids

PHOTO: The most popular (and most widely advertised) tobacco brands are known as "America's Most Wanted" by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
PHOTO: The most popular (and most widely advertised) tobacco brands are known as "America's Most Wanted" by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
March 21, 2013

CASPER, Wyo. - Wyoming is one of the top states in the nation for its high youth tobacco-use rate, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 16 percent of Wyoming teens smoke or chew, and a new report from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids shows how new products are reaching young people - despite age and marketing restrictions.

Danny McGoldrick, the campaign's vice president for research, said some companies have added tobacco to their cigarette paper or wrapper, which qualifies it as a cigar - skirting federal regulations and aiming at the younger crowd.

"We have this plethora of new, flavored, sweet, cheap cigar products that are really cigarettes disguised as cigars - peach, vanilla, or strawberry-flavored little cigars that are 99 cents or less for two of 'em - and are clearly meant to appeal to kids," McGoldrick said.

Today's youths are twice as likely to be cigar smokers as adults, McGoldrick said, adding that young smokers have some creative choices for places where people can't light up.

"There are new smokeless tobacco products that are easy for kids to conceal because you don't have to spit with them," he said. "Some are even dissolvable - look like TicTacs or candy."

The brands that advertise the most, according to the campaign, are the top choices for teens - Camel, Marlboro and Newport for cigarettes, and Copenhagen, Grizzly and Skoal for smokeless.

More information is online at tobaccofreekids.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY