More American teens are smoking little cigars

They seem to be like cigarettes, but little cigars are much cheaper, and they are available in flavors like cherry or strawberry, which helps them to be very appealing to youngsters, specialists say.

Today, for the first time, youngsters' use of flavoured little cigars has been monitored by U.S. analysts. Around 4 in 10 smokers in middle school and high school state they get started with flavoured little cigars, reported by the new survey, selecting data from the 2011 National Youth Tobacco Survey.

Captain Black Classic Little Cigars

Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, termed the new facts "disturbing."

"Flavoured little cigars are generally lies," Frieden says. "They are sold like cigarettes, they take a look closely to cigarettes, but they are not taxed or controlled like cigarettes. And they are growing the number of youngsters who smoke."

A little cigar looks almost exactly like a cigarette: it's the same dimension and form, but rather than being wrapped in white paper, it's wrapped in brown paper that consists of some tobacco leaf. As well as cigarettes, many little cigars have a filter, reported by the American Legacy Foundation, a nonprofit that looks for stopping young smoking.

Due to the fact little cigars are really not cigarettes, they are taxed much less than cigarettes, allowing them considerably more attractive to young adults, because "youngsters are specifically price-sensitive," Sward says. A pack of little cigars can cost less than half as much as a pack of cigarettes, specialists say.

Little cigar sales especially have raised significantly, more than tripling since 1997, affirms Danny McGoldrick, vice president of study for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. And the majority of those little cigars are flavoured, as a result making them more eye-catching to young people.

Attractive flavours like chocolate, cherry, strawberry or vanilla facilitate people especially youngsters to take up smoking by hiding the harshness of tobacco, anti-tobacco promoters say.

McGoldrick says this recent research shows the immediate necessity for the FDA to manage to control all tobacco products, including little cigars.