Cigarette smokers' use of unconventional tobacco products and associations with quitting activity: findings from the ITC-4 U.S. cohort

Nicotine Tob Res. 2014 Jun;16(6):672-81. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt212. Epub 2013 Dec 27.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of use of nicotine-containing tobacco products such as cigars, pipe tobacco, and cigarettes that promise less exposure to toxins; e-cigarettes; and smokeless tobacco products among a cohort of conventional cigarette smokers followed over the past decade. We also evaluated associations between use of such products and cigarette quitting.

Methods: Participants were 6,110 adult smokers in the United States, who were interviewed as part of the International Tobacco Control Four Country Survey between 2002 and 2011. Respondents reported their concurrent use of other smoked tobacco products (including cigars, pipe tobacco, and cigarillos), smokeless tobacco products (including chewing tobacco, snus, and snuff), unconventional cigarettes (including Omni, Accord, and Eclipse), and electronic cigarettes. Prevalence and correlates of use and associations between use and cigarette quitting were assessed using regression analyses via generalized estimating equations.

Results: Most cigarette smokers did not use unconventional tobacco products, although use of any of these products started to rise at the end of the study period (2011). For each type of tobacco product evaluated, use was most prevalent among those aged 18-24 years. Smokers who did use unconventional tobacco products did not experience a clear cessation advantage.

Conclusions: During the past decade, relatively few cigarette smokers reported also using other tobacco products. Those that did use such products were no more likely to stop using conventional cigarettes compared with those who did not use such products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nicotiana
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Cessation / methods
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless
  • United States
  • Young Adult