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NAQC Newsroom: Tobacco Control

Flavored Cigar Smoking Among U.S. Adults

Monday, August 27, 2012  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov

Flavored Cigar Smoking Among U.S. Adults: Findings From the 2009–2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey

A new report published by the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research assesses the use of flavored cigars at both the national and state levels. The data were obtained from the 2009 –2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey.

The report finds flavored cigar use is less common among older adults and those with more education and income. Flavored cigars are especially popular among 18- to 24-year-olds—more than 57 percent of cigar smokers in that age group say they smoke flavored cigars. Nearly 43 percent of all adult cigar smokers in the United States report using flavored cigars.

Research shows that flavors can mask the natural harshness and taste of tobacco, making these products easier to use and increasing their appeal among young people. Cigars contain the same toxic and cancer-causing chemicals found in cigarettes, so they are not a safe alternative to cigarettes. The health consequences of regular cigar smoking include cancers of the lung, larynx, oral cavity, and esophagus. Cigar smokers who inhale, particularly those who smoke several cigars a day, are also at increased risk of developing heart disease and COPD.

Key Findings:

  • The report says 6.6 percent of adults in the United States smoke cigars.
  • Among cigar smokers, flavored cigar smoking was more common among those with a Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED) (65.3 percent) and those with annual household income under $20,000 (51.7 percent).
  • Flavored cigar use was higher among Hispanic cigar smokers (61.7 percent) than among non-Hispanic white (37.9 percent) and black (39.4 percent) cigar smokers.
  • Flavored cigar use was significantly higher among female (60.8 percent) cigar smokers than male (39.2 percent).
  • A higher percentage of LGBT cigar smokers used flavored cigars (67.0 percent) than heterosexual cigar smokers (41.8 percent).
  • The five states with the highest percent of flavored cigar use among adult cigar smokers were North Dakota (71.6 percent), New Mexico (69 percent), Colorado (68.9 percent), Minnesota (59 percent) and Nebraska (59 percent).
  • The states with the lowest were New Hampshire (11.1 percent), New Jersey (23.7 percent), Washington (28.3 percent), Hawaii (30.5 percent) and Alaska (33.4 percent).

PDF of Article

An abstract of the article is available on the journal’s Web site at

Source: CDC/Office on Smoking and Health

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