Big Tobacco sells its products along with addiction, health problems and death. So to sweeten the deal, the tobacco industry sweetened its products.  

Flavors like bubblegum, strawberry cream cake and menthol mask the truth — Big Tobacco needs to lure in young, new users to replace the lifetime smokers and chewers it’s killing.1

Unflavor the lie the tobacco industry is trying to hide.

Big Tobacco's Tasteless Marketing

Tobacco companies used to sell cigarettes with ads featuring doctors claiming that filtered cigarettes were healthier or celebrities saying they prefer the taste of menthol. The ads have changed, but the tobacco industry still uses the same tactics.

You’re not likely to see a doctor promoting a cigarette brand, but the tobacco industry still advertises menthol cigarettes and vaping products based on the false idea that they’re safer or on their flavors.

Today, the tobacco industry sells a wide variety of products and flavors to target specific groups and attract younger users. The tobacco industry targets disadvantaged communities. The industry has a history of targeting Blacks and African Americans, Hispanics, LGBTQ+ communities and youth.

Some Groups are Targets of Flavored Tobacco

Flavored tobacco products addict generation after generation, harming countless communities and families.

For decades, the tobacco industry has pushed menthol-flavored cigarettes on the African American community with coupons, ads and event sponsorships. Today, nearly nine out of ten Black people who use cigarettes use menthol.2 Five out of ten Hispanic people who smoke use menthols.3

The tobacco industry is using its foothold in communities of color to fight bans on flavored products. By sponsoring public figures in the Black community, the tobacco industry is spreading the message that those bans discriminate against African Americans. But the preference for menthol didn’t happen by accident.

The tobacco company targeted LGBTQ+ groups in similar ways. People in those communities have been targeted with ads in LGBTQ+ publications, cigarette giveaways, and free merchandise. Today LGBTQ+ people are nearly twice as likely to use e-cigarettes and little cigars, which are frequently flavored, compared to straight adults.

Communities targeted by the tobacco industry will benefit the most when highly addictive flavored tobacco products are kept off store shelves.  

The Tobacco Industry Sells Candy (Flavors) to Kids

The tobacco industry intentionally uses candylike flavors to hide the harshness of nicotine. 

After Juul, the most recognizable e-cigarette brand, hit the market, the company focused on hooking new users. It went after teenage users with ads on youth-focused websites 

Flavors are more tightly regulated now, but e-cigarette companies are finding ways around the rules by coming up with new products, like synthetic nicotine products that use the fruity flavors, addictive nicotine and harmful chemicals but without the tobacco plant.     

The tobacco industry uses sweet, addictive flavors to hook kids and profit off their lifetime addiction. 22% of Colorado teens who use e-cigarettes do it because of the taste4, and these young people never used cigarettes to start with. 

Limiting access to highly addictive and deadly flavored tobacco products protects our kids and helps them grow into healthier adults. 

We All Pay the Price for Tobacco

The taste of menthol cigarettes is thought to make them harder to quit. Quitting typically takes multiple tries, but African Americans, who smoke the most menthol cigarettes, tend to quit more times than people from other groups. And tobacco-related illnesses are the number one cause of death for people in that community.

Across all groups, tobacco-related illnesses cost Coloradans $2 billion per year in increased healthcare costs.5

Flavors are used to make tobacco easier to use and harder to stop.

Citations will go here.