Flavored cigarettes not a safer alternative: foundation
By Jenny Wang, Special to The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The John Tung Foundation (JTF, 董氏基金會) yesterday requested the government amend laws regarding the control of flavored cigarettes and electronic cigarettes as soon as possible due to the slow decline in teen smoking rates.
August 26, 2013, 11:13 am TWN
Civil groups like JTF demanded the government forbid the manufacture, import and sale of flavored cigarettes and electronic cigarettes so as to lower the chance that teenagers will start consuming tobacco.
With a view to reducing the strong smell of tobacco and making it more acceptable for youngsters, spices such as mint, flower and fruit have been added to some.
According to the latest data announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), the consumption of flavored cigarettes by youngsters in the U.S. aged 18-25 increased by 3 percent; the general smoking rate of U.S. adolescents above 12 increased from 13 percent to 16 percent between 2004 and 2010.
Huang Song-li (黃嵩立), the secretary-general of Taiwan International Medical Alliance (TIMA), said that over 40 percent of young smokers in the U.S. favor menthol cigarette while young female smokers in Taiwan prefer flavored cigarettes.
Although the smell of flavored cigarettes is less pungent, the nicotine content is the same as standard cigarettes, Huang said. Huang said that after a string of interviews with teenagers he discovered adolescents develop a smoking addiction within as little as a month or two.
Lin Qing-li (林清麗), a JTF director, said that Australia, Brazil and the European Union have already forbidden flavored cigarettes while the U.S. and Canada have banned all kinds of flavored cigarettes except for menthol cigarettes.