FLAVORS HOOK KIDS.
- The tobacco industry targets youth to become their next generation of “replacement smokers.”
- Flavored tobacco makes tobacco products more appealing and comfortable for new users to try.
- There are over 15,000 different flavors including fruit, candy, and menthol flavored tobacco products that are luring in youth and driving the youth nicotine epidemic.
- See Minnesotans for Smokefree Generation factsheet for more information.
Flavors make the poison go down smoother.
MENTHOL: NOT COOL
- Menthol is a minty flavor, either found in plants of the mint family or produced synthetically.
- Menthol masks the harshness of smoking and provides a cooling sensation. Because menthol flavoring masks the harshness of smoking, it serves as a starter product for many kids beginning to smoke.
- Tobacco companies, knowing that menthol cigarettes are starter products, target youth in marketing and advertising.
- The FDA recently made an announcement of a proposed plan of clearing the market of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. See the Public Health Law Center’s “Highlighting the Facts” one-pager here.
- See menthol policy case studies here.
Menthol is in products like lozenges and cough syrup to gently soothe the throat. The menthol in tobacco makes it easier for people to inhale the products more deeply without the uncomfortable burning sensation, making the experience more satisfying for the user.
Big tobacco targets communities of color
- The price for menthol cigarettes is cheaper in African American communities and poor communities, compared with more affluent communities with fewer African Americans.
- The proportion of advertisements for menthol products increases as the proportion of African Americans in the community increases. The advertising campaigns often feature urban culture and language designed to target African Americans.
- The tobacco industry sponsors hip-hop bar nights where they provide samples of specialty menthol cigarettes.
*See our social justice page for more informationTargeting of African Americans by the Tobacco Industry
Menthol and Quit Attempts
While people who smoke menthol cigarettes have more quit attempts compared to people who smoke non-menthol cigarettes, people who smoke menthol cigarettes have lower rates of success in quitting.Take Action