By Lisa Robbins, Reporter
CHARLESTON, WV – There’s a new push for the federal government to take control of all tobacco products, including flavored cigars and e-cigarettes.According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 2 out of 5 middle and high school students who smoke use flavored little cigars or flavored cigarettes.
Some lawmakers want the Food and Drug Administration to step in and regulate all tobacco products, specifically flavored ones, which some people think targets teenagers.
Zach Fawley smokes traditional cigarettes, but said he is trying to quit. He agrees the flavored products can draw younger people in.
“I think to some degree that does target kids, these flavors and stuff. I’m glad they’ve outlawed a lot of the advertising, because that’s what a lot of kids are exposed to, TV and commercials,” he said.
The CDC said a lot of these flavored tobacco products skirt around a 2009 federal ban on candy and fruit-flavored cigarettes.
“The flavored stuff, I think it’s kind of an advertising gimmick tobacco companies use,” Fawley said.
Besides the taste, the CDC said the cheap price is why teens pick them. At a local Charleston smoke shop, a pack of little flavored cigars cost $1.99, compared to a pack of cigarettes, which averages $5 a pack.
Charles Baptiste occasionally smokes a Black & Mild cigar. He said it’s up to parents to talk to their children about the dangers of smoking.
“It should be a parent thing. It definitely starts at home,” he said.
The CDC said little cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing ingredients found in cigarettes, according to the report.