In Big Win for Kids, Brunswick… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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In Big Win for Kids, Brunswick (Maine) Town Council Votes to End Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
April 20, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – By voting to end the sale of flavored tobacco products – including flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars – the Brunswick Town 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.  

The Council’s unanimous action will crack down on the tobacco industry’s most pernicious tactic for luring and addicting kids: the marketing of flavored products. We strongly urge the state legislature to follow the lead of Brunswick, Portland and Bangor and pass LD 1550, which will end the sale of flavored tobacco products statewide.

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% use flavored products. In Maine, nearly a third of high school students currently use e-cigarettes.

Flavored products have also long been a favorite tobacco industry strategy for targeting kids, Black Americans, Latinos, the LGBTQ community and other communities. Half of all kids who ever try smoking start with menthol cigarettes. The evidence shows that menthol makes it easier for kids to start smoking and harder for smokers to quit. 

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.