Keeping up with news in the tobacco industry is easier if you subscribe to Trinkets and Trash, a monthly newsletter which offers the latest news, advertisements and contests offered by the tobacco companies. Flavored tobaccos have been making the news lately, mainly because youth are drawn to flavors as their first taste with tobacco. Right on cue, the tobacco industry is promoting their flavors through promotions and adding new flavors.
With their 28 varieties, Skoal promises “a can for every man.” Sort of a sexist advertising slogan in this day and age. Their current sweepstakes allows users to win outdoor gear such as camping equipment and barbecue sets, things to use while you use their product. Not to be outdone, Copenhagen has you voting daily for one of three limited-edition Weyman’s Reserve blends that will be released this fall. Weyman’s Reserves is inspired by the founder George Weyman, made in small batches and barrel-aged. We bet if the first “limited-edition” blend is popular, they won’t let this marketing gimmick go without releasing the other two blends in the future. Perhaps Copenhagen can use the Skoal slogan with some changes: “one man, three cans.”
Another flavored tobacco product is the little cigar, and Swisher Sweets continues to target youth by featuring hip hop artists at places like the SXSW in Austin, Texas. Black & Mild has new “smooth and velvety” flavored cigars in stores come April. Smooth and velvety must be code for “we’ve run out of flavors but still want to target youth.”
And if flavored tobacco products aren’t enough to target youth, now there is “Smart Toothpicks,” nicotine-infused toothpicks with the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. Current flavors include peppermint, cinnamon and wintergreen, but chocolate mint cake and lemon meringue pie will soon be available. Comes in a pack of 20 individually wrapped toothpicks, and can be purchased through Amazon if you can’t find it on your convenience store counter. No age restrictions were in place when we attempted to make a purchase through Amazon. Another product making it easier to hook kids on nicotine.
Finally, an end to the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company fight with the FDA. They get to keep the Natural American Spirit name, but have to remove the phrase ‘Additive Free’ and ‘Natural’ from the “labels, advertising, and promotional materials.”
Flavored products give the illusion that tobacco is harmless, but hook our youth to a life-long addiction. Supposedly P.T. Barnum said “There’s a sucker born every minute,” and if he didn’t say it, the tobacco industry surely must have.
Click HERE for Trinkets and Trash March edition. All images from Trinkets and Trash.