Advocates urge statewide ban on flavored tobacco products

Apr 16, 2012

Officials from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society are joining Assemblyman Sean Ryan in calling for a ban on flavored tobacco products aimed at young people.

Assemblyman Sean Ryan says bipartisan legislation that would close a loophole in federal law was overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly in January.  The Buffalo Democrat says the bill bans the sale of tobacco products that have been flavored to make them more appealing.  

"These flavors like chocolate, vanilla, fruit, mint, herbs, honey, they're all designed to make these products appealing to young people. In addition to banning these types of flavored tobacco products, the legislation would also set penalties for merchants who violate the ban," Ryan said.

Ryan, who was joined by officials from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, is urging the State Senate to act on the legislation. He says preventing tobacco use by young people is the best way to prevent life-long addiction to nicotine.

"By preventing tobacco use early, the impacts on our health costs in the future will be drastic. The bottom line is, this legislation is common sense. It has a huge amount of support in Albany. There is no reason it should not pass the senate this year," said Ryan.

Studies show young smokers choose flavored products because they taste better and are perceived to be safer.