Use of other combustible tobacco products among priority populations of smokers: Implications for U.S. tobacco regulatory policy

Addict Behav. 2019 Jun;93:194-197. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2019.01.031. Epub 2019 Jan 23.


Certain sub-populations (e.g., those living in poverty, racial/ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, and people with mental health conditions) experience profound tobacco-related health disparities. Ongoing surveillance of use of various combustible tobacco products by priority populations of cigarette smokers is needed, particularly in the changing U.S. tobacco regulatory landscape. In 2018 the FDA announced their consideration of a tobacco product standard that would limit the level of nicotine in combustible cigarettes, and such regulations should consider potential effects on tobacco-related disparities. If certain subgroups of cigarette smokers are also using other combustible products, they may be particularly likely to continue dual use or switch to exclusive use of those products if a nicotine reduction standard only applies to cigarettes. Accordingly, this study provided recent U.S. nationally representative data on use of other combustible tobacco products among current cigarette smokers by sociodemographic characteristics. Data were drawn from current cigarette smokers (n = 2559) in 2016 and 2017 U.S. nationally representative surveys. Associations between sociodemographic variables (poverty status, education, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and mental health status) with use of little cigars and cigarillos (LCCs), traditional cigars, and hookah were examined. Among current cigarette smokers, those living in poverty, racial/ethnic minorities, and those with mental health conditions were particularly likely to use LCCs. Racial/ethnic minority smokers were more likely to smoke traditional cigars. Non-heterosexual smokers, Hispanic smokers, and smokers with mental health conditions were particularly likely to use hookah. These findings have important implications for tobacco regulatory policy and other efforts to combat tobacco-related disparities.

Keywords: Cigars; Combustible tobacco; Disparities; Hookah; Little cigars and cigarillos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • Cigar Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Cigar Smoking / ethnology
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Minority Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / statistics & numerical data
  • Tobacco Products / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Tobacco Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Smoking / ethnology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Water Pipe Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Water Pipe Smoking / ethnology