State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. today announced that he is the sponsor of legislation to ban the sale of flavored cigarettes in New York State. Cigarettes with flavors imitating foods, candies, dessert, beverages and spices, so-called "starter" cigarettes, are appealing to young people and are believed to contribute to smoking addictions among teenagers.
"The best way to prevent kids from becoming smokers is to keep them from trying cigarettes in the first place," said Senator Fuschillo (R-Merrick, 8th Senate District). "We need to send young people a strong message that smoking is a dangerous and unhealthy habit that will destroy their lives. Flavored cigarettes are marketed to appeal to young people and can start them on the slippery slope to smoking addiction. Banning these types of cigarettes can help stop children from smoking before they start."
Tobacco companies are producing and marketing cigarettes with flavors such as chocolate, mint, vanilla, fruit, candy and alcoholic beverages, designed for "beginning smokers."
According to the American Cancer Society, which supports Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S.4517), ads for flavored cigarettes have appeared in magazines with significant youth readership such as Rolling Stone, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Elle.
A national study by Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that 21 percent of smokers 17 to 19 years old have smoked flavored cigarettes in the past 30 days. In comparison, only eight percent of smokers over age 25 had said they smoked flavored cigarettes.
The American Cancer Society has also reported that, each day, more than 4,000 teens try their first cigarette and another 2,000 become regular, daily smokers. Nearly all first use of tobacco occurs before high school graduation. Almost 90% of adult smokers became addicted to tobacco at or before the age of 18.
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