A new study has pointed out that teenagers who seek thrill are drawn to fruit-flavoured cigarettes.
The research backs recent ban on the sale of flavoured cigarettes by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2009.
According to the FDA, the ban, authorized by the new Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, is part of a national effort by the FDA to reduce smoking.
"We found that those teens who gravitate toward novel experiences were especially drawn to cigarettes described as having an appealing, sweet flavor, such as cherry," said lead author Kenneth Manning with Colorado State University.
Previous studies have shown that high-sensation-seeking youth are more likely to smoke cigarettes than their low-sensation-seeking peers.
However until now, no studies have looked at how novel, sweet-tasting cigarettes might impact this group of thrill seekers.
The authors proposed that the influence of cigarette flavour descriptors lies in their ability to alter the "arousal potential" of a cigarette brand's marketing communications (such as its packaging).
Arousal potential refers to the degree to which a stimulus (like the description of a cigarette's flavour) is capable of gaining attention and exciting the nervous system.
To test this theory, the researchers conducted a study 253 high school students.
The research has been published in the December issue of the journal Tobacco Control.