Background: Although cigarettes are regulated through the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, cigars are currently not regulated and tend to be lower in price. Despite the rising use of cigars in the United States, little is known about the prevalence of use of little cigars/cigarillos (LCCs) versus large cigars (LCs) and the profile of these distinct cigar users.
Methods: This study uses data from Legacy's Young Adult Cohort, a nationally representative study of 4,215 young adults, ages 18-34. Cigar use was divided into three groups: ever use of LCCs only, ever use of LCs only, and ever dual users. Multinomial regression was used to determine the differential demographic characteristics and tobacco use behaviors associated with the three cigar-use groups.
Results: Ever cigar use was reported by 37.9% (n = 1,596) of the young adult cohort. Of the cigar smokers, 21.5% (n = 344) had used only LCCs, 32.3% (n = 515) had used only LCs, and 46.2% (n = 737) were dual users of both. In comparison with LC-only users, LCC-only users were more like to be younger (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 0.40, p < .001 for 25-34 vs. 18-24 years), female (RRR = 4.92, p < .001), non-Hispanic Black (RRR = 2.91, p < .001), and smoke cigarettes daily. Dual users were more likely than LC-only users to be female (RRR = 1.61, p = .03), non-Hispanic Black (RRR = 2.06, p = .04), and use a higher numbers of tobacco products (RRR = 4.44, p < .001).
Conclusions: Cigar use is prevalent among young adults with the highest proportion using both LCCs and LCs. Interventions to curb use should consider the differential demographic and tobacco use patterns of cigar users.