Nearly all smokers start by the time they’re 18. Big Tobacco’s business model, and billions of dollars in profits, depend on hooking our kids.

The tobacco industry spends over $100 million a year
on marketing in Minnesota alone.

Companies like Swisher Sweets actively sponsor up-and-coming artists that appeal to younger people.
They also use tactics like free music downloads and pop-up concerts in convenience stores.
Some tobacco companies use trending social media hashtags to be part of social conversations.

Who do you think tobacco companies are
targeting with candy-flavored tobacco?

It’s no coincidence these packages look a lot like candy or
gum. The bright and colorful packages are designed to appeal
to kids. 35 percent of Minnesota
high school students have
tried flavored cigars.

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E-cigarettes and kids.

E-cigarette makers are allowed to use fruit and candy flavors such as
gummy bear, cotton candy and many others, and we know flavored tobacco
appeals to kids. E-cigarettes may also raise teens’ risk for future smoking.

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Menthol makes it easier to start. And harder to quit.

Menthol cigarette use by Minnesota high school smokers doubled from 2000 to 2014,
resulting in nearly half of Minnesota teen smokers smoking menthol.
71 percent of African American youth smokers and 71 percent of LGBTQ youth smokers use menthol.