Cigars sexier – and cheaper – than cigarettes

| November 14, 2012 | 0 Comments

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has released a new report about adolescent drug use.

The report indicates that cigarette use dropped from 30% in 2000 to 15.8% in 2011. Data was taken from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which analysed the smoking habits of about 19 000 teenagers.

The report yielded a surprising fact: high school students have started smoking cigars in a serious fashion – use was up from 7.1% in 2009 to 11.7% in 2011. The CDC also found that about 25% of high school boys and more than 17% of high school girls used some form of smoked tobacco product in 2011, while smokeless tobacco use among high school males – at 12.9% – was eight times higher than among high school females. There has also been a marked increase in the smoking of marijuana.

Researchers posited that cigars are more popular because they are taxed at a lower rate than cigarettes, making them more affordable. Additionally, cigars are not subject to restrictions on flavourings, and not labelled as either ‘light’ or ‘low tar’.

The CDC said that the only way to stop teens from smoking was to continue to hike the price of tobacco products, and to present them with continuous media campaigns about the dangers of smoking to themselves and to the environment. “Too many kids start to smoke every day,” CDC director Thomas R. Frieden said in a statement.

Category: Summer 2012

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