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The Tobacco Industries use of flavors

The tobacco industry has a long standing history of using flavors to attract a younger generation of users. In 2009, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was passed and prohibited the sale of flavored cigarettes, with the exception of menthol and tobacco flavorings. While the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act was a step in the right direction toward preventing youth tobacco use and initiation, there are still many flavored tobacco products on the market today. graph

Flavors are still used in smokeless tobacco, cigars, hookah, e-cigarettes/vapes, and e-liquid (commonly known as e-juice). Studies have shown  that 81 percent of kids who have used tobacco say they first started with a flavored product.1 Often times these products are marketed as "starter" products because flavors disguise the harsh tast of tobacco making it easier to start but harder to quit. 

Is menthol a flavor? YES.

Menthol is a chemical compound found in plants that is used as a flavoring in cigarettes and other tobacco products. This flavoring helps to mask the harshness of tobacco by creating a cooling effect in the users throat and mouth. Studies have found that more young adult smokers use menthol cigarettes compared to adult smokers. Menthol is exempt from the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. However, many states and localities are taking action by including menthol in their flavor restiction laws. Click HERE to learn more about flavor restrictions across the United States.


  1. The Flavor Trap - Report from Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids
  2. Menthol: facts, stats, and regulations - Factsheet from Truth Initiative