Complexity of measuring "cigar use" in adolescents: results from a split sample experiment

Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 Apr;13(4):291-5. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntq247. Epub 2011 Jan 17.


Introduction: Inclusion of brand-specific examples (BE) in health surveys assessing lifetime and current cigar use has been shown to impact response rates. A split sample experimental design was used to investigate whether these rates are consistent by race, gender, and geographic locale.

Methods: The 2009 Cuyahoga County Youth Risk Behavior Survey was conducted among 20 randomly selected high schools. Two versions of the survey were created; the first included items assessing lifetime and current cigar use with no brand-specific examples (NBE) while the second included BE in the items assessing cigar use. Both survey versions were distributed randomly within selected classrooms in participating schools.

Results: Within the City, both White and Black BE respondents reported higher lifetime cigar product use prevalence and current cigar product use compared to the NBE group; however, the difference was only significant among Black respondents (odds ratio [OR] = 1.45, 95% CI 1.02-2.06). In the Outer Ring, White BE respondents were significantly less likely to report lifetime cigar use (OR = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.54 - 0.98) and current cigar use (OR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.44-0.99) when compared with White NBE respondents.

Conclusions: Inclusion of BE in current measures of cigar product use may improve product use estimates in at-risk groups. However, better estimation of cigar product use may be accomplished by creating additional items to assess the use of subtypes of cigars.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Black or African American / psychology
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking
  • Schools
  • Sex Distribution
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • White People / psychology