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Advocacy groups: “Flavored smoking and vaping products should be banned”

WGCL Atlanta logo WGCL Atlanta 5/26/2021
a person sitting at a table © Courtesy of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

ATLANTA (CBS46) – Years ago, the marketing of cigarettes to women was obvious, and it was everywhere. TV ads featured fashionable women, using slogans like, “You’ve come a long way, baby.”

These days, marketers of vaping products turn to places where the older crowd might never see it.

“The majority of what I’ve seen has actually been from like TikTok users,” said 25-year-old Allison Bell who’s visiting Atlanta from Oklahoma.

Bell said she’s tried vaping a time or two, but that it’s not for her. She said she can see how underage girls could get lured into vaping.

In recent years, the makers of vaping products have found success in paying ‘social media influencers’ – with their thousands and sometimes millions of followers – to post photos that promote the products.

“They can get them addicted early, and then they stay addicted to nicotine for their lives,” said Laurie Rubiner, executive vice president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

Rubiner said some vaping products contain the same amount of nicotine as a whole pack of cigarettes.

“There are 15,000 flavors for vaping – flavors like Captain Crunch, mango, strawberry,” she said. “These are not flavors that are made for adults.”

On Wednesday, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids released the findings of an internal report detailing what the group calls “predatory marketing to women and girls” and its “devastating health consequences.”

“The statistics are startling,” said Tammy Boyd, chief policy officer and senior counsel for Black Women’s Health Imperative.

Boyd points out that menthol cigarettes are heavily targeted toward African-American women.

Boyd’s group has teamed up with Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids calling for a ban on all flavored smoking and vaping products.

“We’re calling on policy makers at all levels to take strong action to prevent girls from ever starting to smoke or vape and help all women quit tobacco,” Boyd said.

Those interested in quitting can call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit www.smokefree.gov.

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