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NEWARK, N.J. -- U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) has again asked for a ban of flavored cigars.
According to NJToday.net, flavored cigars are of increasing concern because they are surging in popularity among children and young adults.
That assertion is backed up by the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey, released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which revealed that flavored cigar smoking remains a popular high-school student habit, even though overall tobacco use has declined.
According to the survey, cigar smoking increased from 7.1 percent to 11.7 percent from 2009 to 2011. A separate CDC report noted that large cigar use in the United States rose 233 percent from 2000 to 2011.
"Flavored cigars are designed to attract young adults, and the new CDC report indicates Big Tobacco is succeeding in its mission," Lautenberg said, according to the news report. "The federal government must use its full authority over the tobacco industry and ban flavored cigars before the next generation of tobacco users are hooked. The increase in cigar use is troubling, and we must continue to do everything we can to keep our kids healthy and safe."
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 banned the sale of flavored cigarettes. However, some manufacturers have sidestepped the ban by marketing their products as flavored cigars, the news outlet reported.
Lautenberg has called for a ban on flavored cigars before. And as CSNews Online reported, he also was a sponsor of the Tobacco Tax Equity Act in May, which was intended to close a tax loophole allegedly benefitting retailers who sell loose pipe tobacco and those with roll-your-ownmachines.