Florida Targets Fruit-Flavored Tobacco

Around 100 communities have adopted resolutions urging businesses to ban fruit- and liqueur-flavored tobacco products.

February 28, 2012

ORLANDO, Fla. - Localities are asking businesses to stop selling fruit- and liqueur-flavored tobacco products because of the appeal of those products to children, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Around 100 communities have passed resolutions urging retailers to ban the flavored cigars, snuff and chew products.

"Youth perceive these products as safe because of the candy flavor," said Dr. Bonnie Sorensen, director of the Volusia County Health Department. Several cities, including Kissimmee, Lake Mary, Port Orange and St. Cloud, have adopted resolutions asking retailers to stop offering the products.

While flavored cigars have been on the market for years, dozens of new flavors and tobacco products have recently been introduced, including flavored tobacco products and nicotine-laced toothpicks. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. manufacturers tobacco pellets and snus, but does not market those products to children, said John Singleton, communications director of Reynolds American Inc.

Singleton pointed out that the company works with middle schools around the country in smoking prevention. "We're aligned with the purpose of this effort," he said. "We have a different way of going about it, though."

Resolutions carry little weight, given that it??s not a law and just a request. Jeff Baker, who owns Eustis convenience store, said retailers already follow the law in regard to not selling tobacco to minors. He fells that parents should be more involved in monitoring their children??s purchases.