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NY Cancer Society warns sweet smokes like chocolate cigars, blueberry cigs targeting youth

ALBANY, N.Y. – They come in brightly colored, shiny packages in flavours like chocolate, blueberry, and gummy bear.

But the American Cancer Society says the little cigars are aimed at kids and are just as deadly as cigarettes.

The group’s New York chapter announced Friday its push to make the state the first to enact a comprehensive restriction on the sale of candy- and fruit-flavoured cigarillos, chewing tobacco and tobacco used in water pipes.

Supporters say only certain merchants, such as adults-only tobacco shops, should be able to sell the products. They say the restriction would crimp illegal sales of tobacco to people under age 18.

A tobacco industry spokeswoman had no immediate comment. Tobacco companies have opposed smoking by those under age 18, and have mounted extensive efforts to curb youth smoking.