Tobacco companies have found a loophole in the law against advertising to kids and it's working.
They are no longer targeting kids with cigarettes, but they have developed new products that are not covered by the law. That includes cigars and cigarillos, snoose, and e-cigarettes.
Tobacco companies advertise with bright, shiny packaging, fruit and candy flavors, and they are able to put them anywhere in the store instead of just behind the counter.
Cigarette use is down since 2000, but cigar and cigarillo use is rising, and e-cigarette use has doubled. "I guess we need to say good job in what we've been doing in the area of cigarettes, and then we need to expand it out to include all tobacco products and make sure that our youth are protected," said La Crosse Co. Health Educator Judi Zabel.
There is a bill in the legislature right now called the Backpack Tobacco Act that would move the new products behind the counter and tax them on an equal scale as cigarettes.