Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids Congratulates Itself on Accomplishing Absolutely Nothing

In a communication sent to its constituents, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has congratulated itself for what it calls a huge public health victory: the Congressional ban on candy-like flavors in cigarettes, which the Campaign boasts has eliminated the scourge of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cigarettes from the market.

According to the Campaign: “For years, tobacco companies blatantly targeted kids by using flavors like strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. It was a neopolitan disaster. Today, tobacco companies no longer have this option — all candy flavors are banned from being used in cigarettes! … Help celebrate the anniversary of FDA regulation of tobacco by sending a letter to the editor.”

The Campaign then provides suggested text for a letter to the editor, in which it urges constituents to emphasize the following:

“Flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry are meant to entice and addict children to smoking. Thankfully, candy and fruit flavored cigarettes are now banned from sale.”

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of flavored cigarettes

The Food and Drug Administration banned the sale of flavored cigarettes

The impact of the removal of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry-flavored cigarettes from the market can actually be quantified, because we have data from the three major tobacco companies on the amount of sales of cigarettes in each of these three categories as well as survey data on the brands of cigarettes being consumed by youths. The totals for 2009 for the number of youths smoking vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cigarettes (prior to the implementation of the FDA legislation) are as follows:

Vanilla cigarettes: 0 youths
Chocolate cigarettes: 0 youths
Strawberry cigarettes: 0 youths

The impact of the FDA legislation on youth smoking of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cigarettes is shown in the following comparison:

Number of Youths Smoking Neopolitan Cigarettes Before FDA Legislation

Vanilla cigarettes: 0 youths
Chocolate cigarettes: 0 youths
Strawberry cigarettes: 0 youths

Number of Youths Smoking Neopolitan Cigarettes After FDA Legislation

Vanilla cigarettes: 0 youths
Chocolate cigarettes: 0 youths
Strawberry cigarettes: 0 youths

Change in Number of Youths Smoking Neopolitan Cigarettes

Vanilla cigarettes: 0 youths
Chocolate cigarettes: 0 youths
Strawberry cigarettes: 0 youths

As you can see from the above data, the net impact of the FDA legislation on the youth consumption of vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cigarettes was nil. We have a statistical term for this lack of an effect; we say that the net impact of the FDA legislation on youth consumption of neopolitan-flavored cigarettes was…

… bupkes.

In fact, the FDA legislation not only failed to remove any neopolitan-flavored cigarettes from the market, it also failed to remove any flavored cigarettes of any kind manufactured by the three major cigarette companies from the market.

In other words, not a single cigarette brand manufactured, by Philip Morris, Reynolds American, or Lorillard was removed from the market as a consequence of the FDA legislation’s so-called ban on flavored cigarettes.

Of course, the one type of flavored cigarette which is smoked by hundreds of thousands of youths – menthol cigarettes – was untouched by the so-called ban on flavored cigarettes.

The rest of the story is that the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is full of crap. They are boasting about how effective the flavored cigarette ban was and how it ended the scourge of youth addiction to vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry cigarettes, but what they fail to inform their constituents is that not a single youth was smoking vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry cigarettes prior to the implementation of the FDA tobacco legislation. And the truth of the matter is that the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids lobbied against the inclusion of menthol in the Act, thus destroying the only flavoring ban that would actually have done what the Campaign is congratulating itself for having achieved.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is patting itself on the back for having achieved absolutely nothing.

Similar Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *