New York, Oct 3: Cigars flavoured to taste like fruit have become popular among teens, thus causing more minors to smoke, according to a government study.
The study conducted to gauge their use found that about 1 in 30 middle and high school kids said they smoke the compact, sweet-flavoured cigars, which are still legal in some countries, the New York Daily News reported.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the percentages rise as kids get older, to nearly 1 in 12 high school seniors.
Health officials said sweet flavouring can mask the harsh taste of tobacco and make smoking more pleasant.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said the so-called small cigars look like cigarettes, addict as much as cigarettes and they kill like cigarettes.
The study- based on a 2011 survey of nearly 19,000 students, grades 6 through 12- found that sales of regular and flavoured cigars have boomed in the last 12 years.
The study is published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. (ANI)