Posted at: 10/22/2013 8:18 AM
Updated at: 10/22/2013 8:45 AM
By: Erika Edwards, NBC News
A new study finds 4 out of 10 kids who smoke are smoking flavored little cigars.
Photo: Source: NBC News
(NBC) -- With flavors like grape and strawberry, cigars are growing in popularity.
Teens are especially drawn to them, according to a new study from the centers for disease control.
"This is new data, and it's very disturbing. It finds that about 4 out of 10 kids who smoke are smoking flavored little cigars." says Dr. Tom Frieden, a CDC Director.
Flavored little cigars are cheaper than cigarettes and not much bigger. The small cigars are not subjected to some of the same restrictions.
Other than menthol, flavorings are banned in regular cigarettes. Experts say flavorings make tobacco more palatable for beginning smokers.
"Flavorings do make it easier for people to start to smoke. They mask the harshness of tobacco, and because of that, they're particularly used for kids and they're more likely to result in kids getting addicted." states Frieden.
A company that makes flavored little cigars, Altadis U-S-A, issued a statement saying: "We support efforts at retail to only sell products to adults."
Federal data show sales of cigarettes have fallen by more than a third over the past decade, but have risen steadily for cigars and other flavored tobacco products.