Patterns of Premium and Nonpremium Cigar Use in the United States: Findings from Wave 6 (2021) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study

Nicotine Tob Res. 2023 Jul 28;25(Suppl_1):S5-S15. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntad010.


Introduction: Understanding the characteristics of premium cigar use patterns is essential for minimizing public health harms. Typically, premium cigars are handmade, larger, more expensive, and without the characterizing flavors that are present in other cigar types: Nonpremium traditional cigars, cigarillos, and filtered cigars.

Aims and methods: Self-reported brand and price data were used from Wave 6 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study to define and estimate premium versus nonpremium cigar use among U.S. adults, as well as to explore cigar smoking patterns, purchasing behavior, and reasons for use by cigar type.

Results: In 2021, 0.9% (95% CI = 0.7-1.0) of adults were premium cigar users, compared to 0.4% of nonpremium traditional cigar users (95% CI = 0.3-0.5), 1.1% of cigarillo users (95% CI = 1.0-1.2), and 0.6% filtered cigar users (95% CI = 0.5-0.7). Premium cigar users were overwhelmingly male (97.7%), and 35.8% were aged ≥55 years. The average premium cigar price/stick was $8.67, $5.50-7.00 more than other cigar types. Compared to other cigar types, significantly fewer premium cigar users had a regular brand with a flavor other than tobacco (~15% vs. 38%-53%). Though flavors remained the top reason for premium cigar use, they were less likely to endorse flavors as a reason for use than other cigar users (~40% vs. 68-74%). Premium cigar users had a lower prevalence (aRR: 0.37, 95% CI = 0.25-0.55) of dual use of cigars and cigarettes.

Conclusions: Although <1% of U.S. adults use premium cigars, their use and purchasing characteristics continue to differ from other cigar types, highlighting the importance of capturing data specific to premium cigar use.

Implications: This manuscript extends previous research from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine report, "Premium cigars: Patterns of use, marketing, and health effects" by utilizing the most recent PATH Study data (Wave 6) to examine patterns of cigar use, including purchasing behavior and reasons for use, by cigar type (eg, premium traditional cigars, nonpremium traditional cigars, cigarillos, and filtered cigars). The findings support continued research on patterns of premium cigar use, which differ from use patterns of other cigar types.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cigar Smoking* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Self Report
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Tobacco Products*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult