(RxWiki News) Flavored tobacco products may mislead teens about the harms of smoking. By masking the harshness of tobacco, minors might not understand that the risks are still the same.
A recent study looked at the use of flavored mini-cigars and flavored cigarettes among middle and high school students in the US.
The results of the study showed that teens who used flavored tobacco products were less likely to report an intention to quit smoking than teens who used regular cigars.
"Don’t use tobacco products."
Brian A. King, PhD, MPH, from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), led an investigation into the use of flavored mini-cigars and flavored cigarettes among minors.
According to the authors, flavors can overpower the harshness of tobacco, which can make flavored cigarettes and cigars more appealing to younger smokers.
The researchers in this study looked at data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which included middle and high school students from all over the US.
The researchers found that 4.2 percent of responders used flavored cigarettes, and 3.3 percent used flavored mini-cigars.
Among teens that were cigar smokers, 35.9 percent said they smoked flavored mini-cigars. Among teens that were cigarette smokers, 42.2 percent said they had used flavored mini-cigars or flavored cigarettes.
Results of the study also showed that the older students were more likely to have used flavored tobacco products compared with younger students. And non-Hispanic white students were more likely to use flavored tobacco than black or Hispanic students.
Cigar smoking students were more likely to have intentions to quit smoking if they were not users of flavored tobacco products.
Overall, 59.7 percent of flavored mini-cigar users, and 49.3 percent of regular cigar smokers reported no intention to quit smoking.
“Flavored or not, cigars cause cancer, heart disease, lung disease, and many other health problems. Flavored little cigars appeal to youth and the use of these tobacco products may lead to disfigurement, disability, and premature death. We need to take comprehensive steps to reduce all tobacco use for all of our youth,” Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, Director of the CDC, said in a press statement.
“Little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes,” Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in a press statement.
This study was published in October 2013, in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
This study was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.