The American Cancer Society is urging New York to become the first state to ban the sale of sweet-flavored little cigars, chewing tobacco and loose tobacco in convenience stores. The group says these products are aimed at children.
The products come in flavors such as gummy bear, pink berry and chocolate, according to the Associated Press. The American Cancer Society says the products are as unhealthy as cigarettes, and is urging the state to restrict their sale to tobacco shops. The group says the move would make it more difficult for minors to obtain the products.
The article notes Maine bans the sale of larger, premium flavored cigars, while other states have proposed laws to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco products. Several cities, including New York City and Providence, Rhode Island, have restricted flavored tobacco sales.
“If New York acts, it would be the first state in the nation, and turbocharge efforts nationally,” Blair Horner, Vice President of Advocacy at the American Cancer Society and Cancer Action Network of New York and New Jersey, told the AP.
James Calvin, President of the New York Association of Convenience Stores, argues banning the sale of flavored tobacco in convenience stores would increase sales from unregulated sources, such as the Internet.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned cigarettes that are flavored like candy, fruit or cloves in 2009. The ban did not include menthol cigarettes or some flavored tobacco products such as cigars.