Florida’s Collier County Health Department is concerned about candy-flavored tobacco products they said targets kids. Unfortunately, they can’t do anything to keep the products off shop shelves. “Some of these smoking products might be located in your house and parents might not even know they are smoking products just because of the way they are marketed,” declared Rachel Brandhorst with the Collier County Health Department.
Brandhorst reported that candy-flavored tobacco products target kids, using fruit and candy flavors to mask the harsh taste of tobacco and get kids hooked early-on.
“A lot of children are doing it,” argued Nicole Cardenas, a Collier student who is part of the ‘Students Working Against Tobacco’ group. “Their parents might not know, they’re maybe getting it off the streets, from friends and even family members.”
Cardenas explained that students are tricked into thinking candy-flavored smoking tobacco isn’t as bad as regular tobacco-but the health effects are the same.
“Tobacco smoking is the main preventable cause of illnesses and death,” added Brandhorst.
In 2009, candy-flavored cigs were prohibited in Florida, but flavored cigars, cigarillos and chewing tobacco weren’t included in the new ban.
“The tobacco companies create products every year to try and get around those ordinances.”
Anyone 18 years and older can legally purchase the candy-flavored tobacco products at convenience shops across Southwest Florida and county health officials declared there’s nothing they can do about it.
Collier County had passed resolution urging vendors to stop selling the tobacco products, but only a state legislation can actually prohibit them.