Mmm... Nicotine?

Peach, chocolate, vanilla and blueberry name a few; the flavored cigarettes and tobacco products along with trendy images of urban night life and dancing are the latest marketing strategies being employed by tobacco companies.

Some health officials say this scheme is yet another attempt to target underage youth.

Kenyarda Moore, an anti-tobacco activist, says, "Although they claim that's not their intention to do that, I think that is their underlying intention to get these younger smokers and then make them smokers for life. That's something they would be happy with doing."

Tobacco companies say they won't be taking their products off the shelf because they aren't doing anything wrong. They say the use of hip-hop images and flavored cigarettes is in compliance with the 1998 settlement with the state's attorney general which prohibits them from marketing to the youth.

So how popular are the party scene packs and candy flavors with kids under 18?

Pallen Woodard, a smoker, says, "They want to be like the older kids and go to the clubs and do everything that everyone else is doing, so I guess it does draw more kids to it."

But health officials have a counter marketing technique of their own.

Moore adds, "We're going to be even stronger and out there."

According to health officials, four out of every five smokers say they picked up the habit before age 18.


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