Dear [Decision Maker],
I stand with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and urge the Jackson Town Council to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including but not limited to menthol cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, flavored cigars, hookah, and e-cigarettes.This growing epidemic of tobacco use among our youth demands strong and immediate action. 95% of smokers begin before the age of 21. Right here in Wyoming, a significant portion of adults use tobacco product, including 18.7% who use cigarettes. Tobacco product use among youth is much too high, 15.7% of Wyoming high school students smoke cigarettes, 12.6% smoke cigars and 11.6% use smokeless tobacco. We know that most current smokers were enticed to begin this deadly addiction as youth, and most report beginning with a flavor. As a result of targeted marketing, while the use of traditional cigarettes has declined, the sale of menthol cigarettes has declined at a much slower rate, especially among young people and new smokers. Menthol makes it easier to start smoking by masking the harshness of tobacco smoke. As a result, over half of youth smokers use menthol cigarettes. In addition, there are now over 250 different cigar flavors, and cigars surpass cigarettes in popularity among high school boys nationwide.ACS CAN supports strong, comprehensive tobacco policies that cover all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, provides public education and training and technical assistance to retailers, and implements measures for active enforcement, with retailer licensing and penalties, including graduated fines coupled with license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers. Strong laws DO NOT retain separate categories of products that continue to exempt certain tobacco products from other tobacco control laws, penalize youth, or preempt other jurisdictions from passing strong tobacco control laws.
Sincerely[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP][Your Email]