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Flavored and cheap, little cigars are attracting younger smokers

by Anne S. on Thursday, August 22, 2013

BALTIMORE – At Everest Greenish Grocery, a brightly lit store on a faded corner of this city, nothing is more popular than a chocolate-flavored little cigar. They are displayed just above the Hershey bars along with their colorful cigarillo cousins — white grape, strawberry, pineapple and Da Bomb Blueberry. And they were completely sold out by 9 one recent evening, snapped up by young people dropping by for a snack or stopping in during a night of bar hopping.

“Sorry, no more chocolate,” night clerk Qudrad Bari apologetically told a young woman holding a fruit drink.

An end-run around the law

In 2009, Congress passed a landmark law intended to eliminate an important gateway to smoking for young people by banning virtually all the flavors in cigarettes that advocates said tempted them. It was predicted that the change would lead to deep reductions in youth smoking. But the law was silent on flavors in cigars and other tobacco products, instead giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) broad discretion in regulating them.  Read the rest of the article here.

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