Flavored tobacco

Protecting youth from tobacco products

Flavored tobacco

Protecting youth from tobacco products

The rapidly growing use of nicotine products among our nation’s youth is one of the most critical public health issues currently facing our country. In 2019 alone, electric cigarette use by high schoolers spiked 28% compared to 2018 and doubled between 2017 and 2020.

To ensure the future health of our communities, we must help young people avoid becoming hooked on these addictive products. Flavored tobacco plays a key role in convincing young people to try these products. Kaiser Permanente supports removing all flavored tobacco products from the market, including flavored e-cigarettes.

Historically, the marketing and promotion of menthol cigarettes have been targeted heavily toward African Americans through culturally tailored advertising images and messages, and over 7 out of 10 African American youth ages 12 to 17 years who smoke use menthol cigarettes.

1 in 4

high schoolers frequently use e-cigarettes1


of youth cited flavors as main reason for use2


unique e-cigarette flavors for sale3

In order to ensure that our country’s young people have the best possible chance of growing up free from nicotine addiction we support:

  • Banning the sale of all flavored tobacco products including menthol in cigarettes and e-cigarettes
  • Promoting efforts by the Food and Drug Administration to reduce levels of nicotine in combustible products to minimal or subadditive levels
  • Raising the minimum legal age for purchasing nicotine products to 21

In support of our policy priorities, Kaiser Permanente has acted on policies that:

  • Remove flavored tobacco products from the market nationwide.

    We also supported state-based efforts to do the same in Oregon, Hawaii, and California. In California, we actively supported California’s Yes Protect Kids from Candy Flavored Tobacco campaign and a ban on menthol flavored tobacco products.
  • Raise the minimum age for purchasing nicotine products to 21, including state and local policies to complement local enforcement of the Federal Tobacco 21 law


1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020.
2 Truth Initiative, 2018.
3 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 2020.