Flavored tobacco products are displayed at Primo Glass in Brunswick. John Terhune / The Forecaster

The Brunswick Town Council will hold a hearing and possibly take action on a proposal to ban flavored tobacco on Monday, April 4 at 6:30 pm.

Flavored tobacco products that taste and smell like fruit, peppermint or candy and its impact on the youth will be a part of this meeting’s agenda.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, flavoring in tobacco products can make them more appealing to young people. 

A 2021 study revealed that 80.2% of high school students and 74.6% of middle school students who used tobacco products in the past 30 days reported that it was a flavored tobacco product during that time according to the CDC. 

Additionally, the CDC analysis also highlights that 85.5% of high school students and 79.2% of middle school students who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days reported using a flavored e-cigarette during that time. 

In 2019, 30,2% of high school students in Maine reported using electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days according to truth initiative, a non-profit tobacco control organization. This was close to the National rate of 32.7%. 


Brunswick Town Councilor Kathy Wilson believes that flavored tobacco is problematic for children in Brunswick schools.

“The flavored tobacco like the cotton candy or peach flavor was created primarily to attract kids and young people and it does,” Wilson said. “It is quite a problem in the Brunswick schools because they have access to it and are able to do it in places like the school’s bathrooms.” 

Wilson added: “One of my jobs is to do my best to present things that will help take care of the citizens of this town and that especially includes the kids. The kids are becoming hooked to flavored tobacco and eventually it is going to be fatal for some of them.” 

Gerald Bernier, owner of Jenney Station in Brunswick, estimates that 25-30% of the products that he sells are flavored tobacco products, but he couldn’t provide an exact figure. 

He said a ban will take a noticeable toll on his business. 

“They will not be putting me out of business, but they are definitely going to be hurting my business,” Bernier said. “The reason why what they are doing is not right is because people will just go to Topsham and buy what they want. Brunswick should just wait for the state to do what needs to be done and then everyone in the state will have the same process.” 

Wilson also says that while she empathizes with small business owners, she has to prioritize the health of Brunswick children. 

“I know that for tobacco stores that it is going to affect their business and I am sorry about that, but I cannot let that rule over the health of children.”

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