Nearly all smokers start by the time they’re 18. Big Tobacco depends on this fact. It’s the only way they can keep making billions of dollars in profits.

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

Companies like Swisher Sweets actively sponsor up-and-coming artists who 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. Nationally, 80 percent
of kids who use tobacco use fruit, candy or menthol
flavored tobacco.

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E-cigarettes and kids.

Minnesota has seen a nearly 50 percent surge in
high-school students using e-cigarettes. Almost
40 percent of high-school students have tried
e-cigarettes, which come in kid-friendly flavors
like gummy bear and cotton candy. Nicotine is
addictive and can harm the adolescent brain.

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

Among Minnesota teen smokers, 34 percent report smoking menthols.
Tobacco industry documents show efforts to market menthol products to African Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) communities, and young people.