81 percent of youth who have used tobacco say they first started with a flavored product. Flavoring in tobacco and vape products, including menthol, makes smoking easier because they taste good and make inhaling the products easier. Smokers who start at a younger age are more likely to develop a nicotine addiction and experience smoking-related illness earlier than people who do not smoke. Vapes (electronic nicotine devices) popularity has increased among youth and young adults. There are over 15,000 vape flavors; most of these products come in attractive packaging and flavors that appeal to youth. According to the Nevada Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 2017, 15% of Nevada high school students reported being current vape (electronic cigarettes) product users. That increased to 22.5% in 2019, making it apparent that flavoring plays a significant role in youth smoking and vaping.

Flavoring Ban

In 2009 the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibited the sale of flavored cigarettes (other than menthol) in the United States by signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Action. Unfortunately, menthol cigarettes, and flavored vapor products, cigars, hookahs, and chewing tobacco were still permitted. In 2020 the selling of flavored pods and cartridges, except for tobacco and menthol flavors, was banned, but this did not extend to tanks, e-liquids, disposables, or any other tobacco product. The FDA announced a plan in 2021 to restrict menthol as a characterizing flavor (a smell or taste other than tobacco) in cigarettes and ban all characterizing flavors, including menthol, in cigars.

Attracting Addiction

Attracting Addiction NV is Nevada’s response to the flavoring epidemic responsible for many youths and young adults’ tobacco and vape initiation. The initiative focuses on:

  • Educating the public on the tobacco predatory marketing practices
  • Increasing awareness of the harm associated with flavored tobacco and vape products
  • Preventing youth and adult initiation
  • Rallying support for banning all characterizing flavors in all tobacco and vapor products
  • Encouraging smoking cessation.

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