142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Tobacco Industry Strategies Promoting Flavored Little Cigars and Cigarillos

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Ganna Kostygina, PhD , Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Pamela Ling, MD, MPH , Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Objective: Flavored little cigar and cigarillo (LCC) use represents an underserved domain in tobacco control. The objective of this study was to describe the evolution of strategies used by tobacco companies to encourage uptake of LCCs and to describe industry research findings on consumer perceptions of flavored LCC products.

Method: Qualitative analysis of internal tobacco industry documents triangulated with data from tobacco advertisement archives, national newspapers, trade press, and Internet.

Results: Internally, flavored little cigar and cigarillo products have been associated with young and inexperienced tobacco users. Internal studies confirmed that menthol flavor and candy-like sweeter flavors (e.g., cherry) could increase appeal to starters by masking the heavy cigar taste and reducing throat irritation. Flavors made the product easier to inhale, which contributed to the initiation and maintenance of LCCs. Furthermore, to appeal to new users, little cigar manufacturers reduced the size of cigars to make them more cigarette-like, introduced filters and flavored filter tips, emphasized mildness and ease of draw in advertising, evoked associations with cigarettes, and featured actors inhaling the little cigar smoke in television commercials promoting the product.

Discussion: Flavors in LCCs tend to make these products more attractive and palatable to new users. While fruit, candy, alcohol flavored cigarettes have been banned, flavored little cigars and cigarillos continue to be sold. Bans on flavored cigarettes should be expanded to include flavored LCCs due to their appeal to new users. Future tobacco use prevention initiatives should be adapted to ensure they are inclusive of LCC use.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe one marketing strategy employed by the tobacco manufacturers that promotes uptake of little cigar and cigarillo products among youth and new users. Describe how use of flavorings encourages uptake of combustible non-cigarette tobacco products.

Keyword(s): Tobacco Use, Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a postdoctoral fellow with training and expertise in tobacco control research, health communication and policy promotion. I have my PhD and I am a UCSF Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. I have been directly involved in the research on project being presented.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.