ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has proposed a statewide ban on specialty candy-flavored cigarettes with flavors like "MochaMint" and "Midnight Berry."
"Tobacco companies selling cigarettes like pineapple and coconut-flavored 'Kauai Kolada' and 'Midnight Berry' is an attempt to market to youth, in my opinion," Pawlenty, a Republican, said. "Even for the tobacco industry, this marketing gimmick is beyond the pale."
RJ Reynolds and Brown and Williams introduced the candy-flavored smokes as a niche product last year and advertise the cigarettes in youth-oriented magazines like Glamour, Cosmopolitan and Rolling Stone.
Flavors include "Twista Lime," "Warm Winter Toffee," "Caribbean Chill," "Mocha Taboo" and "Mintrigue."
About 27 percent of Minnesota high school seniors and 15 percent of Minnesota ninth grade students smoked cigarettes in 2004.
"This type of marketing is a new challenge that we must meet head-on right now, before cigarette companies hook thousands of new, young smokers," said Pawlenty.