'Peanut Butter Cup' vape? Some worry colorful, candy-themed products woo young people to smoking – LA Daily News

By Rachel Bluth, California Healthline

Advertising for traditional cigarettes is strictly regulated: No cowboys looking cool, no cartoons and no bright colors that play up candy-flavored cigarettes that might appeal to kids.

Yet these bans don’t apply to e-cigarettes or vapes — increasingly a choice for experimentation by adolescents and young adults. These smoking products use chemical solutions with nicotine flavored with “juices” that have names like “Bubble Pop,” “Strawberry Cotton Candy” and “Peanut Butter Cup.” People inhale these as if they were smoking a traditional cigarette.

Young adults who are exposed to advertisements for these non-cigarette tobacco products are significantly more likely to try them, according to a study of nearly 11,000 people ages 12 to 24 published last week in JAMA.

Anti-smoking advocates battled for decades against the tobacco industry’s cigarette-marketing strategy geared to young people. What many viewed as “first-step” restrictions on traditional “combustible” cigarettes were advanced as part of the 2001 tobacco Master Settlement Agreement between state attorneys general and the industry. But many worry that gaps still exist.

“Our study reinforces that tobacco product marketing continues to be an important

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