The 2009 Tobacco Control Act
The 2009 Tobacco Control Act took a critical step in ending one of the tactics used to target and addict children because it prohibited candy and other fruit flavored cigarettes.
But the law left out non-cigarette tobacco products. That means little cigars, cigarillos, chew, e-cigarettes, and other non-cigarette tobacco products are still sold in flavors like strawberry, cotton candy, bubble gum, chocolate, and more.
The law also allows menthol flavored tobacco products of all types, making menthol the sole remaining flavor allowed in cigarettes.
Flavored Tobacco Is:
Attractive to and Dangerous for Youth
Two-thirds of tobacco-using youth report using non-cigarette tobacco products like e-cigarettes, cigars, and chew because they like the flavors.
The majority of youth (ages 12—17) who report ever trying tobacco started with a flavored product.
Nationwide, more than half (53.6%) of youth who smoke cigarettes report using menthol flavored cigarettes—the only kind of flavored cigarette that’s still legal.
EASY TO ACCESS & CHEAP FOR YOUTH
85% of Vermont tobacco retailers sell at least one kind of flavored tobacco product.
Unlike cigarettes, tobacco products like chew, cigars, and e-cigarettes can be purchased individually, making them cheaper for kids to buy.
Almost 40% of retail stores selling single cigarillos advertise them for less than $1, when the average price of a pack of cigarettes in Vermont is $8.12.
Single cigarillos are widely available, frequently advertised, often discounted, and more likely to be sold in stores near schools in Vermont.
The more often your children are exposed to flavored tobacco products and advertising, the more likely they are to start using tobacco.
Vermont by the numbers
Nearly a quarter (24%) of all Vermont high school students have tried a flavored tobacco product.
Overall, 25% of all Vermont high school youth currently use some kind of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, chew, or e-cigarettes).
Overall, 10% of Vermont high school students report smoking cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars compared to 5% of Vermont adults.
WHAT RETAILERS ARE DOING
Vermonters are taking a stand against the tobacco industry’s influence. Check out the quotes below to see what these Vermonters are doing to reduce tobacco’s impact on our state’s young people. Contact Us to share your story.
“I’ve seen everyone who smokes struggle in the 21 years I’ve owned the store. I do not carry the one packet cigars or dip. I have chosen not to use any sandwich boards or posters or any other marketing tool that the tobacco companies have put out that I can pick up at a trade show or get through my distributors. Wouldn’t it be great to see the next generation of Vermont children tobacco-free?”Vaneasa Sterns Owner, Lincoln General Store Lincoln
“We gave up selling tobacco well over 20 years ago. We promote healthcare and smoking is just so against that.”Steve Hochberg Owner & Pharmacist, Rutland Pharmacy Rutland
“In the last seven and a half years, a half a dozen of our regular customers who were cigarette smokers passed away. We decided to keep a limited selection, to display them as marginally as possible, and to do no secondary advertising — no posters, no plastic boxes, no kids’ characters of tobacco mascots.”Brad Hartley Vermont Energy Co Ferrisburg
“We decided to stop selling cigarettes. I really care about people’s health and I could not in good conscious sell cigarettes. Grocery stores, chain stores, they should all stop selling cigarettes. I would love to see the next generation of Vermont children tobacco-free.”James Marmar Woodstock Pharmacy Ferrisburg
“I’ve been at the store for 61 years. My dad had a policy to never advertise or discount cigarettes. He never touched tobacco his whole life. I’ve kept that tradition all these years. I always discourage people from buying the products. I will not advertise it or discount it. I don’t want to see youth get hooked on something that’s going to be a real detriment to their health.”Senator Dick Mazza Owner, Dick Mazza’s General Store & State Senator Colchester
TOBACCO RETAILERS BY THE NUMBERS
Flavored tobacco products are accessible and affordable for youth according to the 2018 Counter Tools Store Audit Report. These products are often sold in close proximity to schools in Vermont, with 29% of schools being within 1,000 feet of a tobacco retailer. This is troubling as youth are more likely to start smoking when there are more tobacco retailers in a given area.
Almost 50% of Vermont tobacco retail stores offer tobacco product price promotions.
Overall, 86% of Vermont tobacco retail stores sell flavored tobacco products.
E-cigarettes are sold in 40% of tobacco retail stores in Vermont.