By ELIZABETH CHISICK | Mauston High School FACT
Sweets, candies, and chocolate are a Valentine’s Day tradition! Unfortunately, tobacco products like little cigars and vapes have those flavors, too. Candy-flavored tobacco products can be deceiving, but they have the same dangers as unflavored products. Teens like myself are seeing flavored tobacco products every time we walk into a gas station or convenience store.
In a survey conducted in 2020, 80 percent of 10th and 12th graders who vape reported that they could easily get a vaping flavor other than tobacco or menthol. Fruit, mint, and menthol were the most frequently used flavors among youth who vaped (tobaccofreekids.org).
While these “fun” flavors make vaping seem like a treat to students, it is actually incredibly dangerous. Vapes contain many harmful ingredients whether or not they are flavored. Some of these short-term consequences are known, but no one knows the long-term effects. If you want a treat, you don’t have to turn yourself into a science experiment to get it! Spend your money on chocolate instead.
This Valentine’s Day, our FACT group is writing messages about the dangers of tobacco on candy to hand out. To learn more about the work of FACT groups throughout the state, visit FACTmovement.org.