Bangor City Council Votes to End… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Bangor City Council Votes to End Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products; Bold Move Will Save Lives, Advance Health Equity

Statement of Kevin O’Flaherty, Northeast Region Director of Advocacy, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
October 25, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – By voting to end the sale of flavored tobacco products – including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars – Bangor’s City Council has taken bold action to protect kids from tobacco addiction, save lives and advance health equity. The Council’s action is the right move to stop the tobacco industry from addicting a new generation of kids and reversing the enormous progress we have made in reducing youth tobacco use.

The Council’s action will crack down on the tobacco industry’s most pernicious tactic for luring and addicting kids – the marketing of flavored products. It sets a terrific example for other Maine communities and the entire state to follow.

Flavored products have fueled the current epidemic of youth e-cigarette use. Nationally, over 2 million kids use e-cigarettes, with a growing percentage of them using e-cigarettes frequently or daily – a sure sign of addiction – and 85% using flavored products. In Maine, 30.2% of high school students use e-cigarettes. And though the Food and Drug Administration recently has denied marketing applications for some flavored e-cigarettes, far too many flavored products – including the most popular youth brands like Juul and Puff Bar – remain available.

In addition, cheap, flavored cigars – sold in hundreds of flavors like cherry dynamite, tropical twist and chocolate – have flooded the market in recent years and fueled the popularity of these products with kids. According to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, cigars are now the second most popular tobacco product, after e-cigarettes, among all high school students. And half of all youth smokers smoke menthol cigarettes.