Tobacco is Changing: Packaging

Flavored tobacco and vaping products

Now Tobacco is Trying to Hide in Plain Sight

It can be hard to spot tobacco products these days. That's because a lot of smokeless tobacco, e-cigarette liquids and devices, and cigar products use bright colors, little tins, and shiny materials in their packaging. Many would fit right in with products you can find in the candy aisle at your neighborhood convenience store. That’s dangerous because products that are packaged like candy could give young people the wrong impression: that the addictive product inside is harmless.

Now parents have to prepare for an even more worrying packaging trend: tobacco products most people wouldn’t recognize at all.

Look-alike electronic smoking devices are gaining popularity, helping kids conceal their addiction with vapes disguised in sweatshirts and backpacks, or designed to look like highlighters, USB drives, smart watches, and other everyday objects. Easily purchased online, these products are often shipped to teens in plain packages that don’t hint at the danger inside.

What to Look For


Vaping flavor packages

Areas in clothing where vaping apparatus can be concealed

 

Watch where vaping pods can be hid

Nicotine toothpicks

 

Vaping apparatus

Vaping apparatus

  • Shiny cigar packaging that looks like candy.
  • E-cigarette "juices" covered in bright, attention-grabbing labels.
  • Snus containers that look like mint tins.
  • Disposable e-cigs that look like slim highlighters or high-tech cigarettes.
  • Flavor cartridges that look like USB flash drives.
  • Colorful dip tins that look like mints or gum.
  • Disposable electronic cigarettes that look like fashionable pens.
  • New clothing, bags, and accessories you don’t remember buying.
  • Unexplained online purchases or unexpected packages in the mail.

Resources

Learn more about flavors and the harm they can do:

Vape Products Still Allowed Under the Federal Flavor Restrictions
Flavored Tobacco
Flavored Tobacco Products Attract Kids
2018 Wisconsin Youth Tobacco Survey—Middle School, P-01624a
Know the Risks: E-Cigarettes and Young People
The Flavor Trap

Different Tactics, Same Threat

Understand all the ways tobacco companies scheme to make, package, and market products that can lock down the next generation of lifelong tobacco users.

Four teens watching a cell phone

Help Wisconsin Adopt Comprehensive Tobacco Policies

We can react to Wisconsin’s tobacco problems, or we can use best practices, and proactive policies, that work together to prevent youth tobacco use and other statewide challenges. You can help make that happen. Find out how you can support comprehensive tobacco policies for a healthier state and take action in your own community.


Take the Next Step

Change for the better starts when caring individuals stand together for kids, their communities, and policies that can improve everyone’s health. Find out how you can make a difference.

Last Revised: November 13, 2020