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Beware of New Tobacco Products

Which one is tobacco?

The good news is that cigarette smoking rates have drastically declined in the United States. In fact, North Carolina high school teen smoking rates have decreased from 32% in 1999 to 17% in 2009. The bad news is that there is an emergence of new smokeless and novelty tobacco products, and dual use (use of more than one tobacco product) is on the rise.

It’s much harder to be a smoker in our society today due to the increasing prevalence of smoke free policies and society’s concern about secondhand smoke. It makes sense that an industry brilliant at profit-making would respond by creating new products. Emerging product trends include tobacco that is discrete, easy to hide, easy to use, with new packaging and colors, gimmicks and the allure of being safer. The bottom line is there is no safe tobacco product. There is no safe way to maintain a nicotine addiction.

It’s important as these new products hit the market that adults know what they are and convey a consistent message to youth about the dangers of all tobacco. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was granted authority by Congress to regulate tobacco. This public health step is expected to change the face of the industry. Some changes have already taken place, such as removing candy- and fruit-flavored cigarettes from the market. Additional measures will be phased in over the next several years. Click here for more information on emerging tobacco products.

Written by: Kim Bayha, UCPS Tobacco Prevention Specialist
Posted: May 17, 2010 by Kim Bayha

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