Background: Despite the increasing consumption of little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs), few studies have examined unique predictors and correlates of LCC use among adult cigarette smokers. This study explored differences between cigarette smokers with and without a history of LCC use on harm perceptions, use of other tobacco products (chewing tobacco, snus, e-cigarettes, and dissolvables), cigarette smoking/cessation-related behaviors/cognitions, and mental health and substance use disorder symptoms.
Methods: A geographically diverse sample of current cigarette smokers were included in analyses (n = 1270). Frequencies of LCC use, awareness, purchase, and harm perceptions were examined and logistic regression models investigated differences between LCC ever and never users on a variety of factors, controlling for demographics.
Results: Bivariate analyses showed that LCC users were more likely to be male, younger, have lower income, have tried other tobacco products, perceive LCCs as less harmful than cigarettes, and endorse lifetime substance disorder symptoms. Menthol and other tobacco product use were the only significant correlates of LCC use in logistic regression models. Post-hoc analyses showed that other tobacco product use partially mediated an association between substance use disorder symptoms and LCC use.
Conclusions: A third of the sample had tried LCCs, and LCC users were more likely to have experimented with other tobacco products and used menthol. The high degree of co-use of cigarette smoking and LCCs with other tobacco products and the association of LCC use to substance use suggests that these users have unique risk factors and deserve specific targeting in public health campaigns.
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