4101.2: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 1

Abstract #8857

Cigar smoking among U.S. college students

Nancy A. Rigotti, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 50 Staniford Street, 9th floor, Boston, MA 02114, 617-724-4709, nrigotti@partners.org and Henry Wechsler, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health.

Cigar sales have increased dramatically since 1993 but there is little national data on cigar smoking prevalence. We analyzed data from the 1999 College Alcohol Survey, a random sample of 14,138 students in a representative sample of 119 4-year U.S. colleges. Among college students, 37% (56% of males, 25% of females) have ever smoked a cigar and 9% (16% of males, 4% of females) are current (past 30 day) cigar users, but <1% smoke daily. Using multiple logistic regression, cigar use is more common in males (OR 4.6, 95% CI 4.0-5.4) and blacks (OR 3.2, 95% CI 2.1-4.6) and less common in hispanics (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4-0.9) and Asians (OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.6-1.0). Cigar smoking is more common among current cigarette smokers (OR 3.7, 95% CI 3.1-4.2), marijuana smokers (1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.7), binge drinkers (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.7-2.4), students dissatisfied with their education (OR 1.3, 95% CI 1.0-1.7) and those who rate highly participation in fraternities/sororities (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.1-1.9), parties (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1-1.4), and attending sporting events (OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.0-1.4). Only 9% of students who smoke both cigars and cigarettes started smoking cigars first. In summary, cigar use is common in college students, especially white and black males, users of other substances, and students whose priorities are social. We have no evidence to indicate that cigars are a “gateway” to cigarette smoking. However, cigar use is not harmless and efforts targeting tobacco, alcohol, and substance use in college should include cigars.

Learning Objectives: 1. Identify the prevalence and correlates of cigar and tobacco use among U.S. college students

Keywords: Students, Cigars

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA