Letter to the Editor:
Submitted by Wali Altahif
ACC Tobacco Cessation Program

As our children return to school this year, I think it is important to be aware of the new products that the tobacco industry is using to lure our kids into addiction.

The new products include Sticks, Strips, Orbs, lozenges, hookah, and snuff, along with traditional spit tobacco. The product packaging is similar to that of classic candies and snacks, and the flavors include cherry, berry, mint, and chocolate, all of which makes these products appealing to young people.

In addition, the products are easy to conceal, and their tobacco origin can be difficult to detect by observing someone using the product.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokeless tobacco contains 28 cancer causing chemicals and can lead to nicotine addiction and dependence.

Adolescents who use smokeless tobacco are more likely to become cigarette smokers. The Michigan Department of Community Health has reported that nearly 90 percent of all adult smokers began smoking before the age of 18, and it is estimated that 930,000 kids alive in Michigan today will become regular smokers. One third of that number will ultimately die from smoking cigarettes.

The Department of Community Health also noted in a report last August about new products that smokeless tobacco use by high school students has increased in the last 8 years.

In looking around my own community, I see that [Sticks, Strips, Hookah, Orbs, snus, spit tobacco, e-cigarettes, etc.] are readily available for sale — and many of these products are sought out by youth. The colorful packaging and enticing flavors can’t disguise the deadly nature of these products.

Let’s start this school year right and join together to protect our children from addiction and death.

I urge you to remind your kids that all tobacco products are harmful, and to remind them that the best way to stay tobacco-free and healthy is to avoid all tobacco. Let’s join together to protect our children from addiction and death