NYC has a law that restricts the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products (also known as e-cigarettes). According to this law, retailers may only sell tobacco products that are unflavored or are tobacco, menthol, mint or wintergreen flavored. Also, retailers may only sell e-cigarettes, e-liquids or liquid nicotine that are tobacco flavored or unflavored. Selling other flavors is illegal.
Tobacco companies market tobacco and nicotine products in many varieties and flavors — including some that look and taste like candy — to appeal to young people.
Menthol is a minty-flavored substance sometimes added to tobacco products. Menthol cigarettes are just as harmful as non-menthol cigarettes. The menthol additive makes the smoke less harsh and easier to tolerate, especially for new smokers.
Menthol cigarettes have become popular in NYC due to aggressive industry marketing.
Recreational nicotine products include pouches, toothpicks, tobacco-free dip, lozenges and gum. These new products deliver nicotine without tobacco and are available in many flavors, which may appeal to youth.
Nicotine is addictive, especially for teens. The flavors, ingredients and effects of recreational nicotine products are not closely regulated. These products should not be confused with FDA-approved tobacco treatment medicines (PDF), such as nicotine replacement therapy, which can be sold over-the-counter.