STAR JOURNAL REPORT
Members of a Rhinelander anti-tobacco organization took their message to City Hall recently. Students representing the FACT group met with Mayor Dick Johns to discuss the use of candy-flavored tobacco products among their peers.
According to facilitator Meagan Otto of the Oneida County Health Department, 81 percent of youth who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product.
“These products can be found in almost every gas station in Rhinelander,” Otto stated. “Peach and strawberry flavored cigars, apple flavored chew, cotton candy e-juices, bright and colorful packaging. With traditional cigarette use on the decline, tobacco companies are getting creative in their marketing plans and they are targeting our youth.”
The students, Ashley Pierson and Lauren Rosendahl explained that tobacco companies are spending billions of dollars “hiding harmful tobacco products behind colorful packaging and candy flavors” in an effort to attract youth to their products.
“These new products may look and taste like candy but they still kill like tobacco,” according to Otto. “It has been the mission of Rhinelander FACT members to educate their peers on this truth and prevent them from getting started on these tempting candy-flavored products.”