Flavored Tobacco and Recreational Nicotine Products

Data on Smoking Inequities

Smoking has decreased in NYC, but inequities remain. Addressing the root causes of inequities and prioritizing communities experiencing them is vital. See these reports on smoking inequities and recommendations on how to provide tailored support and outreach to communities:

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For ways to get involved in the fight against smoking inequities, view:

NYC has a law that restricts the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products (also known as e-cigarettes). According to this law, retailers may only sell tobacco products that are unflavored or are tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavored. Also, retailers may only sell e-cigarettes, e-liquids or liquid nicotine that are tobacco flavored or unflavored. Selling other flavors is illegal.

Under state and local laws, products that heat tobacco but do not burn it, such as IQOS, are subject to the same laws as other tobacco products. Heated tobacco products expose people using them and those nearby to tar and toxic chemicals. Like other tobacco products in NYC they may only be sold in unflavored and menthol/mint flavors.

Tobacco companies market tobacco and nicotine products in many varieties and flavors — including some that look and taste like candy — to appeal to young people.

Menthol Tobacco Products

Menthol is a minty-flavored substance sometimes added to tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes are just as harmful as non-menthol cigarettes. The menthol additive makes the smoke less harsh and easier to tolerate, especially for new smokers.

Menthol cigarettes have become popular in NYC due to aggressive industry marketing.

Flavored Recreational Nicotine Products: Pouches, Toothpicks, Lozenges, Gum

Recreational nicotine products include pouches, toothpicks, tobacco-free dip, lozenges and gum. These new products deliver nicotine without tobacco and are available in many flavors, which may appeal to youth.

Nicotine is addictive, especially for teens. The flavors, ingredients and effects of recreational nicotine products are not closely regulated. These products should not be confused with FDA-approved tobacco treatment medicines (PDF), such as nicotine replacement therapy, which can be sold over-the-counter.

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