Recently, Philadelphia City Council held a hearing to shine a light on a particularly pernicious trick that tobacco companies use to entice people to smoke: infusing cigars and cigarettes with seductive “flavorings.”
Smoking is still Philadelphia’s number one killer, responsible by recent estimates for the deaths of more than 3,600 people a year. In part, that’s so high because about 22 percent of adults in Philly smoke, far more than the 15 percent of adults nationally, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As smoking rates have fallen over the years, the tobacco industry has come up with ever more inventive marketing tactics. Because nearly 90 percent of smokers start before age 18, those tactics mostly target kids.