Recent news about the popularity of flavored small cigars with children rang true to what I see in my community. With celebrity endorsements from rappers such as Snoop Dogg, these products are heavily marketed to African-American youths.
But the flavors are only half of the story. Not only do small cigars appeal to kids with flavors like “Ba Boom Strawberry Kiwi,” they are sold for less than 50 cents. That is less than the cost to park at a meter for an hour, less than a pack of gum, even less than a load of laundry at your local laundromat. Young people are more likely to try tobacco and get addicted if it is cheap.
Thirty cities in Massachusetts, including Boston, have passed laws that require cigars to be sold in packs of four or five. These laws increase the price of cigars, making them less affordable and accessible to youths. Minnesota cities should do the same.
LATRISHA VETAW, Minneapolis