COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida's Collier County Health Department is expressing concern about candy-flavored tobacco that they say targets children. However, they can't do anything to keep the products off store shelves, according to a WBBH report.
"Parents might not even know they are tobacco products just because of the way they are marketed," Rachel Brandhorst of the Collier County Health Department told WBBH.
Brandhorst said candy-flavored tobacco products target children, using fruit and candy flavors to mask the harsh taste of tobacco and get kids hooked early-on.
In 2009, candy-flavored cigarettes were banned in Florida, but flavored cigars, cigarillos and chewing tobacco weren't included in the ban. Anyone 18 years and older can legally buy the candy-flavored tobacco at convenience stores across Southwest Florida, and county health officials say there's nothing they can do about it.
Collier County had passed resolution urging vendors to stop selling the products, but only a state law can actually ban them.
"A resolution really doesn't have teeth," said Brandhorst. "We are passing them just as a way to bring awareness to this issue."