In an explosive revelation, US health experts have claimed that government’s bid to ban flavoured cigarettes have failed to achieve its target as young boys and girls have found to be getting drawn to flavored cigars and cigarellos in large numbers.
According to the health researchers, the young population is getting inclined to this smoking behavior because they are cheaper than government-regulated cigarettes.
While the sales of cigarette have gone down by a third over the last 10 years, the sales of cheaper alternatives such as cigars and cigarellos have doubled over the same period with the flavored ones getting more acceptances among the youngsters. Loose tobacco and cigars increased to 10 percent of all tobacco sold in the United States in 2011, up from just 3 percent in 2000, federal data said.
The New York Times reported on Saturday, A Baltimore grocery’s chocolate-flavored little cigar is its most popular item, along with white grape, pineapple, strawberry and Da Bomb Blueberry cigarillos.
In 2009, the Congress passed a law banning most flavors in cigarettes in a bid to make it tougher for youngsters to engage in smoking. Moreover, the government also gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration directions to regulate flavours in cigars and other tobacco products such as loose-leaf tobacco. But till date the agency has remained lackadaisical in this regard.
Smoking opponents said the agency’s delay has catalyzed the recent progress in reducing smoking among young people.
Commenting on the recent progress, Gregory Connolly, the director of the Center for Global Tobacco Control at the Harvard School of Public Health, said, “The 20th century was the cigarette century, and we worked very hard to address that. But now it’s 21st century where there are multiple options. They’re pocket friendly. They’re flavored.”