For Immediate Release
January 20, 2012
Contact Information

Julia Cartwright

(BPRW) Dual Users of Both Cigarettes and Cigars are More Likely to be Young, African-American, and Male

- New Survey Data Indicate Need for Policies that Address Dual Use -

(BLACK PR WIRE) – Washington, D.C. – Since the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, granting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products, the United States began to implement its regulatory authority to curb an epidemic that kills more than 400,000 people each year. To date, however, the FDA has not exercised its authority to assert jurisdiction on cigar products.

Although the tax structure is not a part of the act, tax treatment of cigars differs from cigarettes, making many cigar products less costly. This is concerning, as there is a direct correlation between higher costs and lower consumption of tobacco products.

Cigars can be just as harmful as cigarettes. Like cigarettes, cigars pose significant health risks, contributing to cancers of the mouth, lung, esophagus, and larynx and possibly contributing to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In order to more fully understand tobacco use patterns, researchers from Legacy – a national public health organization dedicated to helping people quit smoking or never start – analyzed the demographics of a sample of people who smoked cigarettes and cigars.

Researchers found that this subgroup of dual-use smokers fit a different profile than cigarette-only smokers. Results from the study show that adult smokers who indicated that they use both cigarettes AND cigars (12.5percent), were more likely to be young, African American, male, of low educational attainment and unemployed, compared with cigarette-only smokers.

“While this data is disturbing, it is not surprising,” said Amanda Richardson, PhD, MS, Director for Research and Evaluation at Legacy. “Previous research has shown that cigars and cigarillos are already on the rise among young adults, especially as lower prices and sweet flavors may add to their appeal. In addition, minority and underserved popu¬lations that are most at-risk for dual use are those same populations that often bear a disproportionate brunt of tobacco-related morbidity and mortality,” said Richardson.

For example, African-American males experience higher rates of lung cancer, although they tend to smoke fewer cigarettes per day than other groups. Those with less than a high school education have higher smoking rates and lower quit rates than smokers with a high school degree or higher.

This study, “Primary and Dual Users of Cigars and Cigarettes: Profiles, Tobacco Use Patterns and Relevance to Policy” published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that:

• Dual users are more likely than cigarette-only smokers to be male, 18–29 years of age, and non-Hispanic Black, unemployed or out of the work force, and of low educational attainment.
• Dual users were less likely than cigarette-only smokers to be daily cigarette smokers and more likely to have made a recent quit attempt.
• As compared to cigar-only smokers, who were also most likely to be male and young, dual-users were much more likely than cigar-only smokers to be African American, have low educational attainment, and be unemployed or out of the work force.

Most notably, because dual-users are less likely to be daily smokers and are more likely to use other tobacco products, cessation interventions might be less successful, as physicians might under-estimate their overall tobacco use.

“The data show that users of both cigars and cigarettes have an interest in quitting, and it’s the responsibility of the public health community to address these issues and to help them take steps to save their lives,” said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH, President and CEO of Legacy. “This is an opportune time to consider policies that would classify cigars, little cigars and cigarillos alongside cigarettes,” she added.

Description of Cigar Products:
Little cigars are similar in size and appearance to cigarettes. Unlike cigarettes, which are wrapped in white paper, little cigars are wrapped in paper that contains some tobacco leaf. Cigarillos are longer, slimmer versions of a little cigar. Increased use of these products is of particular concern, as users may believe that cigarillos and little cigars are less harmful than cigarettes.

Legacy helps people live longer, healthier lives by building a world where young people reject tobacco and anyone can quit. Legacy’s proven-effective and nationally recognized public education programs include truth®, the national youth smoking prevention campaign that has been cited as contributing to significant declines in youth smoking; EX®, an innovative public health program designed to speak to smokers in their own language and change the way they approach quitting; and research initiatives exploring the causes, consequences and approaches to reducing tobacco use. Located in Washington, D.C., the foundation was created as a result of the November 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) reached between attorneys general from46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about Legacy’s life-saving programs, visit  

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