Stop Big Tobacco from targeting Chicago kids!
About the Campaign
There’s a public health emergency unfolding right before our eyes — and the cause couldn’t be clearer.
One in 4 Chicago high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. In fact, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the Surgeon General and FDA have called “epidemic” levels. E-cigarette use among U.S. high school students jumped by 135 percent over the last two years alone.
The main cause of the problem was Juul, a sleek, high-tech e-cigarette that looks like a USB flash drive – and is small and easy to hide, comes in sweet flavors that entice kids and delivers a powerful nicotine hit. One Juul pod delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes.
But Juul isn’t the only problem. There are now over 15,500 e-cigarette flavors and 200 cigar flavors, and more keep coming. These flavored tobacco products undermine Chicago’s efforts to reduce youth tobacco use: 81% of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. 97% of youth e-cigarette users have used a flavored product in the past month.
Tobacco companies also continue to aggressively market menthol-favored cigarettes to kids, African-Americans and other demographic groups as they have for decades. Youth smokers are more likely to use menthol cigarettes than any other age group. Menthol cigarettes pose a tremendous public health threat – they make it easier to start and harder to quit smoking. African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes at high rates and quit smoking at lower rates, and African-American men have high death rates from lung cancer. That’s why the NAACP and others want to restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes – because they hurt black communities especially.
Chicago city council can protect our kids by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, one of the most promising ways to prevent the industry from addicting our kids.
Get the Facts
Of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month.
1 in 4 high school students in the United States use e-cigarettes.
4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.