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Big Tobacco’s deadly mission: Make kids the customers of the future

The tobacco industry uses fun, enticing flavors to mask the harshness of tobacco and to hide the high nicotine levels, duping kids into thinking vaping is safe and sentencing them to a lifetime of addiction.15 Blue Razz and Banana Ice may sound harmless, but these candy-flavored vapes contain concentrated nicotine salts16 and are incredibly dangerous for developing brains.17 And teens who vape are 3x more likely to smoke cigarettes in/after a year.18

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Flavors Hook Kids

Teens are 7x more likely than adults to vape nicotine1920 and 96% of them use flavors.20

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Tobacco industry’s damage

The tobacco industry currently spends billions each year on slick marketing tactics1 and political influence2 so they can profit off death and disease.
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Even for people who don’t use tobacco, there can be deadly consequences.3
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The industry calls kids their “replacement customers.”4 Big Tobacco sentences them to a lifetime of addiction and disease.
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This racist and unjust industry has strategically targeted certain communities with deadly products and manipulative messaging.5
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No one’s safe from the environmental damage6 and health risks7891011 from toxic tobacco waste and its plastic pollution.12
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Hold the industry accountable

California has already protected people from other harmful products,1314 and it’s time to hold the tobacco industry to the same standards.
  1. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2020. Washington, D.C.: Federal Trade Commission. 2021.
  2. OpenSecrets. Industry Profile: Tobacco. Opensecrets.org. https://www.opensecrets.org/federal-lobbying/industries/summary?cycle=2021&id=A02. Accessed March 16, 2022.
  3. Office on Smoking and Health (US). The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2006.
  4. RJ Reynolds. Younger Adult Smokers: Strategies and Opportunities. https://www.industrydocuments.ucsf.edu/docs/rkvk0045. 1984 February 29.
  5. Anderson SJ. Marketing of menthol cigarettes and consumer perceptions: a review of tobacco industry documents. Tob Control. 2011;20 Suppl 2(Suppl_2):ii20-ii28. doi:10.1136/tc.2010.041939.
  6. Break Free From Plastic. Branded Vol. III: Demanding corporate accountability for plastic pollution. 2020.
  7. Poma A, Vecchiotti G, Colafarina S, et al. In Vitro Genotoxicity of Polystyrene Nanoparticles on the Human Fibroblast Hs27 Cell Line. Nanomaterials (Basel). 2019;9(9):1299. Published 2019 Sep 11. doi:10.3390/nano9091299.
  8. Zarus GM, Muianga C, Hunter CM, Pappas RS. A review of data for quantifying human exposures to micro and nanoplastics and potential health risks. Sci Total Environ. 2021;756:144010. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144010.
  9. Jacob H, Besson M, Swarzenski PW, Lecchini D, Metian M. Effects of Virgin Micro- and Nanoplastics on Fish: Trends, Meta-Analysis, and Perspectives. Environ Sci Technol. 2020;54(8):4733-4745. doi:10.1021/acs.est.9b05995.
  10. Ziv-Gal A, Flaws JA. Evidence for bisphenol A-induced female infertility: a review (2007-2016). Fertil Steril. 2016;106(4):827-856. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2016.06.027.
  11. Campanale C, Massarelli C, Savino I, Locaputo V, Uricchio VF. A Detailed Review Study on Potential Effects of Microplastics and Additives of Concern on Human Health. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(4):1212. Published 2020 Feb 13. doi:10.3390/ijerph17041212.
  12. Belzagui F, Buscio V, Gutiérrez-Bouzán C, Vilaseca M. Cigarette butts as a microfiber source with a microplastic level of concern. Science of The Total Environment. 2021;762:144165. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.144165.
  13. Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Making California First in the Nation to Ban Toxic Chemicals in Cosmetics [press release]. gov.ca.gov. https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/09/30/governor-newsom-signs-legislation-making-california-first-in-the-nation-to-ban-toxic-chemicals-in-cosmetics/. Published September 30, 2020. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  14. Landmark California law bans 'forever chemicals' in products for infants, children [press release]. ewg.org. https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2021/10/landmark-california-law-bans-forever-chemicals-products-infants. Published October 5, 2021. Accessed March 23, 2022.
  15. Kirkham C. Juul disregarded early evidence it was hooking teens. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/juul-ecigarette/. Published November 5, 2019. Accessed February 4, 2020.
  16. Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. Know the Risks. E-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  17. Pierce JP, Chen R, Leas EC, et al. Use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products and progression to daily cigarette smoking. Pediatrics. 2021;147(2). doi:10.1542/PEDS.2020-025122/36274.
  18. Dai H, Leventhal AM. Prevalence of e-Cigarette Use Among Adults in the United States, 2014-2018. JAMA. September 2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.15331.
  19. Cullen KA, Ambrose BK, Gentzke AS, Apelberg BJ, Jamal A, King BA. Notes from the Field: Use of Electronic Cigarettes and Any Tobacco Product Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(45):1276-1277. doi:10.15585/mmwr.mm6745a5.
  20. Zhu S-H, Braden K, Zhuang Y-L, Braden K, Gamst A, Cole AG, Wolfson T, Li S. (2021). Results of the Statewide 2019-20 California Student Tobacco Survey. San Diego, California: Center for Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control (CRITC), University of California San Diego.