Flavored Tobacco and Youth


Protect mariposa county youth from tobacco addiction

The rate of youth who use e-cigarettes, also know as "Vaping" or "Juuling", in the United States is now an epidemic.  The US Surgeon General is concerned, and rightly so1.  According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, use of e-cigarette products by high school students almost doubled in one year from nearly 12% in 2017, to nearly 21% of youth in 2018.2 

The tobacco industry targets youth of all ages with sleek concealable e-cigarette devices such as Juul and Sourin, and they offer fruity and minty flavored liquids to mask the harsh taste of tobacco.  This is tobacco use epidemic has reached Mariposa County, as evidenced by the pictures featured in a recent MCHS Facebook post to alert parents about vaping.

Mariposa County High School Confiscated e-cigarettes

MCHS Confiscated Vape Devices

Mariposa County High School Confiscated flavored e-liquids

Kid Friendly Flavored e-liquid

Almost all e-cigarette/vaping products contain nicotine, and the level can be very high.  Youth nicotine use can harm the developing brain, and impact learning, memory, and attention.3  It also sets kids up for a lifetime of tobacco addiction.

It's time to change the narrative on kids and tobacco products.

Instead of "If kids want it, they are going to find a way to get it", let's focus on what our community can do to limit youth access to and the appeal of tobacco products.  In Mariposa County 35% of all tobacco retailers sell flavored little cigars or cigarillos for less than $1.00.  Kids might not have $10.00 in their pocket for a pack of traditional cigarettes but most have a dollar or two for a cheap flavored cigar.

Prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products (including e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, and little cigarillos) is a critical step to preventing another generation of young people from living a lifetime of addiction.4    We know that 80% of youth who ever used tobacco started with a flavored tobacco product and the majority of youth report flavoring as a leading reason for using tobacco products. Recommended community prevention strategies include:

  • Prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products in our community protects our youth from the lure of enticing flavors.
  • Imposing a minimum price and pack size makes tobacco especially cheap cigars, less affordable and accessible for youth.
  • The Surgeon General has recommended a minimum pack size of at least $10.00 per tobacco product.

ready to learn more about the impact of flavored tobacco products?

Download our fact sheet to learn more about how to protect our youth from tobacco addiction or contact the Mariposa County Tobacco Control Program to schedule a presentation to your group and request educational materials.  Call (209) 966-3689 or email Ginnie Day at gday@mariposacounty.org 

Flavors Hook Kids Campaign

The website and advertising campaign, "Flavors Hook Kids", (www.flavorshookkids.org) is a good resource for parents and concerned adults who want to learn more about the availability of tobacco products with enticing flavors, and new e-cigarette devices called "pod mods."

Are you ready to take action?  Contact your local or state government representation. You can find a simple letter of concern at www.flavorshookkids.org/#do-something    


1. Office of the Surgeon General. (2018). Surgeon General’s advisory on e-cigarette use among youth. Washington DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

2. Cullen, K.A., Ambrose, B.K., Gentzke, A.S., Apleberg, B.J., Jamal, A., & King, B.A. (2018). Notes from the field: Use of electronic cigarettes and any tobacco product among middle and high school students – United States, 2011 – 2018. Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report, 67(45), 1276-1277.

3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2016). E-cigarette use among youth and young adults: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office of Smoking and Health.

4. California Department of Public Health. (2018). The truth about flavored tobacco. Retrieved from https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CCDPHP/DCDIC/CTCB/Pages/FlavoredTobaccoAndMenthol.aspx.

5. Ambrose, B.K., Day, H.R., Rostron, B., Conway, K.P., Borek, N., Hyland, A., & Villanti, A.C. (2015). Flavored tobacco product use among US youth aged 12 – 17 years, 2013 – 2014. JAMA, 314(17), 1871-1873.