Maryland's Tobacco Resource Center - Linking Professionals to Best Practices

Flavored Cigars Popular with Youth Smokers

August
2013

The breadth of flavored tobacco products has expanded.  Although Congress approved legislation in 2009 that banned nearly all flavored cigarettes in an attempt to remove them as a gateway to smoking for young people, this law did not address flavored cigars and other tobacco products.  The law instead empowered the FDA to regulate those products, but only in recent weeks has the agency begun to grapple with how to exercise this power.  Over the past decade, cigarette sales have fallen by 33%, but cigar sales have doubled, making up more than half of total convenience store and gas station tobacco sales due to their cheap prices and easy accessibility.  This trend is particularly concerning due to the number of youth buying the flavored cigars.  For instance, high school students use cigars at the same rate or higher than cigarettes in Maryland and at least five other states.