The Northwest Report
February 7, 2011
Move over Four Loko. Bring on Swisher Sweets.
Washington state made national headlines last year when they banned Four Loko because college aged people abused it. The FDA liked the idea so much that they decided to propose a national ban on caffeinated energy drinks such as Four Loko. Who would have thought that college students abuse substances such as caffeine and alcohol?
Busy body public-health officials in Olympia, Washington now have their sights set on sweet cigarillos.
Public health officials are afraid that the colorfully packaged and flavored Swisher Sweets will entice teens into a lifetime nicotine addiction. The director of Public Health for Seattle and King County stated that white grape, peach, and strawberry flavored Swisher Sweet cigarillos (little cigars or blunts) are essentially a “gateway to long-term tobacco use.” Public health officials are still intent on banning these products even though stores are already banned from selling tobacco products to anyone under 18 years of age.
House Bill 1246 (HB 1246) and Senate Bill 5380 (SB 5380) would ban the distribution or sale of smokable tobacco products with “distinguishable flavor or aroma other than tobacco.” The bill would also ban tobacco or nicotine products such as lozenges, smokeless tobacco, pouches, capsules, and pills. The state may suspend or revoke a retailer’s issued license or impose a monetary penalty if they violate the proposed rules.
Stephen Martin of Altadis USA had a few choice words for the lawmakers:
“[an] irresponsible effort to promote your own personal crusade against tobacco…I challenge you to please cite one instance where a teenager was directly responsible for killing someone [underage drinking] after consuming a flavored cigar or pipe tobacco.”
Copyright 2011 – The Northwest Report. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.