Industry accused of success

The tobacco industry is “reverting to tricks and stunts” in a bid to attract young smokers, according to a story in The Guardian quoting the head of the Public Health Association of Australia.
Adjunct Professor Terry Slevin made his comment after analysis published in the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control had shown that cigarettes with flavor capsules were the fastest growing segment of the combustible tobacco market.
Slevin described the modification of tobacco products to make them more ‘appetising’ as “an extraordinary assault on public health”.
“Any modification to tobacco products which clearly aim to increase rates of smoking and target young smokers should be ruthlessly resisted,” he was quoted as saying.
“Australia has the lowest rates of smoking in the world among young people, and we now have a situation where more than 97 percent of children under 18 are never-smokers. The tobacco industry is clearly seeking to reverse that success and is reverting to tricks and stunts which should not be tolerated.”
The Tobacco Control analysis published on Monday found the market for cigarettes with flavor capsules in the filter had ‘grown exponentially since being introduced in 2007’.
The analysis, led by the University of Stirling in the UK, found there was a dearth of research on capsule cigarettes.
Nevertheless, it reported that research with adult smokers in the UK, US and Australia had shown ‘consistently’ a preference for capsules among young adults.
More than half of past-month smokers aged 12–17 years in Australia were said to have reported having tried a capsule cigarette.