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Cigars



Overview

  • A cigar is defined as a roll of tobacco wrapped in leaf tobacco or in a substance that contains tobacco (as opposed to a cigarette, which is defined as a roll of tobacco wrapped in paper or in a substance that does not contain tobacco).1,2
  • The three major types of cigars sold in the United States are large cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars.1,2

Cigars

  • Small or little cigars are about the same size as a cigarette and often include a filter.3
  • Historically, cigar smoking in the United States has been a behavior of older men, but the industry’s increased marketing of these products to targeted groups in the 1990s increased the prevalence of use among adolescents.3
  • The use of flavorings in some cigar brands and the fact that they are commonly sold as a single stick has raised concerns that these products may be especially appealing to youth.3,4,5
  • Cigar use is higher among youth who use other tobacco products or other drugs, such as alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants, than among youth who do not use these products.3

TypeDescriptionMarket Share (2012)*
*Percentage of U.S. market for cigar products6

 

Large cigar

 

 

AND

 


Cigarillo

 

Note: These two categories are now combined in the calculation of market share.


 
Cigar that typically contains at least one-half ounce of aged, fermented tobacco (i.e., as much as a pack of cigarettes) and usually takes 1 to 2 hours to smoke
 
A short (3 to 4 inches) and narrow cigar that typically contains about 3 grams of tobacco and usually does not include a filter

 

 

 

94%
 
Little cigarA small cigar that typically is about the same size as a cigarette and usually includes a filter6%
  • In 2012, overall cigar industry sales were up 0.4% from 2011.6

Cigars contain the same toxic and carcinogenic compounds found in cigarettes and are not a safe alternative to cigarettes.1,4

Health Effects

  • Regular cigar smoking is associated with an increased risk for cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx (voice box), and/or oral cavity (lip, tongue, mouth, throat).1,2
  • Cigar smoking is linked to gum disease and tooth loss.2
  • Heavy cigar smokers and those who inhale deeply may be at increased risk of developing coronary heart disease.1,2
  • Heavy cigar smoking increases the risk for lung diseases, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.1,2

Current Cigar Use

Adults*

Percentage of U.S. adults who were current cigar users† in 2012:7

 

  • 5.4% of all adults in the United States

  • 9.1% of adult males in the United States
  • 2.0% of adult females in the United States

  • 7.6% of African American adults
  • 7.9% of American Indian/Alaska Native adults
  • 1.7% of Asian American adults
  • 4.2% of Hispanic adults
  • 5.5% of White adults

 

High School Students

Percentage of U.S. high school students who were current cigar users† in 2012:8

 

  • 12.6% of all students in grades 9–12
  •   8,4% of female students in grades 9–12
  • 16.7% of male students in grades 9–12
  •  

  • Cigar use among high school males (16.7%) is approximately double that of high school females (8.4%) and similar to cigarette use among high school males (16.3%).8
  • During 2011–2012, cigar use increased significantly among non-Hispanic Black high school students to 16.7%; there were no significant changes for non-Hispanic White, Hispanic, and other racial/ethnic groups.8

 

Middle School Students

Percentage of U.S. middle school students who were current cigar users† in 2012:8

 

  • 2.8% of all U.S. students in grades 6–8
  • 2.4% of female students in grades 6–8
  • 3.2% of male students in grades 6–8
  •  

  • During 2011–2012, there were no significant changes in cigar use among male or female middle school students or for any racial/ethnic group.8

Overall

  • In 2012, an estimated 13.4 million people (or 5.2% of people 12 years of age or older) in the United States were current cigar users.7

NOTES:
*Adults are defined as persons 18 years of age or older.
†Current cigar use is defined as smoking cigars on 1 or more of the 30 days preceding the survey.
 

Marketing Information

In 2012, cigar sales in the United States by major cigar manufacturers showed:6

  • Altadis USA (products include Dutch Masters and Backwoods brands) with 10% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos and 19.7% of the U.S. market share for little cigars
  • Cheyenne International with 15.4% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos
  • Lane Limited (products include Winchester and Captain Black) with 5.3% of the U.S. market share for little cigars
  • Middleton (products include Black & Mild brand) with 10% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos
  • Prime Time International with 3.1% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos and 19.7% of the U.S. market share for little cigars
  • Swedish Match (products include White Owl and Garcia y Vega) with 7.8% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos
  • Swisher International (products include Swisher Sweets and Swisher Little brands) with 16.8% of the U.S. market share for large cigars and cigarillos and 52.5% of the U.S. market share for little cigars

Marketing efforts promote cigars as symbols of a luxuriant and successful lifestyle. The following marketing strategies all contribute to the increased visibility of cigar smoking in society:1,3

  • Endorsements by celebrities
  • Development of cigar friendly magazines (e.g., Cigar Aficionado)
  • Images of highly visible women smoking cigars
  • Product placement in movies

In 2001, the Federal Trade Commission mandated that cigar packaging and advertisements must display one of the following five "SURGEON GENERAL WARNING" text-only labels on a rotating basis:9

  • Cigar Smoking Can Cause Cancers Of The Mouth And Throat, Even If You Do Not Inhale.
  • Cigar Smoking Can Cause Lung Cancer And Heart Disease.
  • Tobacco Use Increases The Risk Of Infertility, Stillbirth, And Low Birth Weight.
  • Cigars Are Not A Safe Alternative To Cigarettes.
  • Tobacco Smoke Increases The Risk Of Lung Cancer And Heart Disease, Even In Nonsmokers.


References

  1. National Cancer Institute. Cigars: Health Effects and Trends. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9. Bethesda (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 1998 [accessed 2013 Nov 6].
  2. American Cancer Society. Cigar Smoking. Atlanta: American Cancer Society [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012 [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  4. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Rise of Cigars and Cigar-Smoking Harms[PDF–144 KB] Washington: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  5. King BA, Tynan MA, Dube SR, Arrazola R. Flavored-Little-Cigar and Flavored-Cigarette Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students. Journal of Adolescent Health 2013 (published online head of print on October 23, 2013) [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  6. The Maxwell Report: Cigar Industry in 2012. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2013 [cited 2013 Nov 14].
  7. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students–United States, 2011 and 2012. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013;62(45):893-7 [accessed 2013 Nov 14].
  9. Federal Trade Commission. Nationwide Labeling Rules for Cigar Packaging and Ads Take Effect Today. Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2001 [accessed 2013 Nov 14].

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E-mail: tobaccoinfo@cdc.gov
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO

Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.

 

 



 
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