Larkin Pushes For Ban On Sale Of Flavored Cigarettes

William J. Larkin, Jr.

February 09, 2006

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) is cosponsoring a bill (S.1952-A) in the New York State Senate that would ban the sale of certain flavored cigarettes.

Types of cigarette flavors include different fruits, chocolate, vanilla, honey, candy, mint, cocoa, alcoholic beverages like pina colada, herbs and spices, for example.

"It is disturbingly obvious that the manufactureres of these kinds of cigarettes are targeting kids," said Senator Larkin. "Sadly, cigarettes have proven too attractive for too many children and smoking has become an increasingly popular trend again among young people over the past few years. While adults are free to decide to smoke if they wish, children, however, are not prepared to make this kind of a decision. Nicotine is an addictive drug and they clearly don’t understand the harmful long-term health effects. We must do everything in our power to keep these products out of the hands of kids."

Public health experts have proven that children are more likely to choose flavored cigarettes when they start smoking. Moreover, the earlier an individual begins smoking, the more likely he or she will become addicted to tobacco products and will continue to smoke throughout his or her lifetime. As a result, flavored cigarettes result in increased tobacco use, increased addiction, a greater incidence of smoking-related illnesses, increased health care costs, and more smoking-related deaths.

According to the bill, any business or individual caught selling flavored cigarettes in New York State would be subject to a civil fine of $500 for each violation.