Kids Giving Up Cigarettes For Cigars

Perhaps, an unintended consequence of the huge emphasis our society places on the hazards of smoking cigarettes: More people, particularly teenagers wanting to be "cool," are lighting up cigars, according to a new report.

Case in point: Although a New Jersey report found cigarette smoking among teens had dropped by some 30 percent, smoking cigars had increased among boys (17 percent) and girls (10 percent). Also, a 2004 survey of Cleveland teens found cigars consumption had exceeded cigarette use.

As if anticipating many teens may not like the typical taste of cigars, tobacco manufacturers have taken advantage of all the junk food marketing kids have been exposed to over the years by offering cigars in various flavors (apple, cinnamon and grape).

And, due to escalating taxes on cigarettes imposed throughout the country, it may be cheaper in some areas for teens to smoke cigars...

However, most experts, including me, believe it isn't much safer, if at all, for teens or adults to choose cigars over cigarettes. The true cost of smoking processed tobacco products can lead to a ton of health-harming problems, not to mention what effect second-hand smoke may have on their friends and family.

Forbes.com November 28, 2005

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