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Flavored tobacco ban barely noticeable

News Editor

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

Last Tuesday, Federal Drug Administration policy went into effect banning all flavored tobacco products in the U.S. under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, their first big move since they gained the control to regulate the tobacco industry this summer.

            Thought to be a gateway product that appeals to the youth, the ban is aimed at deterring younger age groups from smoking. But on UNH's campus, many don't think this effort will have an immediate effect on college-aged student smokers.

            "I really think their goal here was to make a large impact in the middle school, early high school age," said Ann-Marie Matteucci, an alcohol, tobacco and general drug educator at Health Services. "I don't know how many college students say, ‘let's go smoke a cherry cigarette.'"

            Convenience stores in Durham have discontinued the sale of these products under the newly enforced law, and many have been clearing out their stores for months in preparation.

            "Right now we have no more flavored cigarettes," said Campus Convenience employee Manjit Singh.  "We got rid of them all a long time ago, about two months ago, when we started hearing about this in the news."

            However, owners and employees have barely seen a disparity in sales since the ban.

            "There's been a very minimal change in sales, not much at all," said Caroline Sabine, owner of Store 24, who stopped selling flavored cigarettes last Monday. "I don't think it's going to make much of a difference actually."

            Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S. A New York Times article said that 3,600 children and teenagers begin smoking every day; 1,100 of which become daily smokers.

            According to the FDA, 22.8 percent of 17-year-old smokers reported using flavored cigarettes in the past month, and 60 percent of a surveyed group of youth smokers between the ages of 13 and 18 believe that flavored cigarettes taste better than regular ones.

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