Tobacco companies have been hooking our kids for years with enticing flavors, and now they're scheming to addict another generation of kids by selling products in flavors like gummy bear, banana smash and "smooth menthol."
African American kids have paid the highest price for Big Tobacco's immoral targeting of racial minorities and low-income New Yorkers. As a result, among all African Americans who smoke, 85 percent smoke menthol cigarettes. And African American men have the highest rate of death from lung cancer when compared with other racial or ethnic groups.
In recent years, there has also been a surge of other flavored tobacco products on the market, especially electronic cigarettes. There are now over 15,500 e-cigarette flavors available for purchase, and more keep coming. These flavored products undermine NYC's successful efforts to reduce youth tobacco use; 81 percent of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product, and over half of youth smokers use menthol cigarettes.
To combat this problem, the New York City Council has proposed to protect our kids by limiting the sale of menthol cigarettes to adult-only tobacco retailers and prohibiting the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes, two of the most effective ways to prevent the industry from addicting our kids.
Tell the New York City Council that you support its proposal to protect our children from flavored tobacco products.
As your constituent, I'm asking you to support two bills that would restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes and menthol cigarettes, in New York City. Flavors hook kids, and two bills - Intro. 1362 (Cabrera) and Intro. 1345 (Levine) - would finally close the loopholes in NYC's Flavored Tobacco Sales policy that allow flavored tobacco products to continue to addict our kids.
As you know, for more than half a century the tobacco industry has used menthol flavoring to successfully addict African American youth, and now they're using a bewildering array of flavored e-cigarettes to lure even more kids into a lifetime of addiction.
E-cigarettes now come in over 15,500 flavors, like gummy worm, cotton candy, and mango, with more added every month. And flavored cigars make up more than half of the U.S. cigar market.
All of these flavors, including mint, menthol and wintergreen, have helped fuel the popularity of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco among kids. In fact, 81% of kids who have used tobacco products started with a flavored product.
More than half of youth smokers ages 12-17 use menthol cigarettes, compared to less than 1/3 of smokers ages 35 and older. Menthol use is even higher among African American youth: 70% smoke menthol cigarettes.
Please support Intro. 1362 (Cabrera) and Intro. 1345 (Levine) to fully protect ALL of New York City's kids from flavored tobacco products.
Thank you, [Your Name]