Candy corn, gummy bear, chocolate and grape. These are candy flavors that many trick-or-treaters will see in their bags this year. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the e-cigarette flavors that teens see at many convenience stores across Wisconsin.
Our FACT group knows that these flavored products are not as innocent as they seem. FACT is Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention movement and we’re spreading the truth that no matter what you call them, hookah pens, puffers or vape mods, they’re definitely e-cigarettes and they’re definitely not harmless. I was at the store recently and saw a small bottle that said Iced Tea. I asked the store owner for it and he said it was not for kids. Can you believe it? It was e-cigarette juice!
Unfortunately, for reasons like this, young people are a lot more likely to use flavored tobacco products than adults. This summer the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) enacted their new rule which gave it oversight over all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, cigars and hookah tobacco. This means that the minimum age for the sale of all tobacco products will be 18 nationwide. Although this is a step forward for youth tobacco prevention, it’s too bad that advertising and flavoring restrictions for these tobacco products are not included in the rule to protect youth. There’s still more work to be done.
We don’t want Wisconsin teens to be fooled by tobacco’s candy flavors and bright colors. This Halloween, our local FACT group plans to talk to kids about the deadly products tobacco companies are disguising to look like treats.
Remember, these seemingly innocent candy flavors could still get you an addiction. Don’t let yourself get tricked!
For more information on the FACT Movement, please visit FACTmovement.org.
Kenneth Maxwell III