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Appeal and Impact of Characterizing Flavors on Young Adult Small Cigar Use

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Objective: To understand how affect for characterizing flavors influences little cigar and cigarillo (LCC) smoking uptake behaviors among young adults. Methods: A convenience sample of multi-ethnic young adults (N = 90; mean age = 25.1 years; 53.1% male; 47.4% African-American, 35.5% white, 17.1% Hispanic) who were dual (LCC+ cigarette) and cigarette-only smokers participated in 12 focus groups and a semi-structured interview in the southeastern United States. Results: Though they self-identified at enrollment as dual or cigarette-only smokers, 64.4% re- ported LCC-only smoking, 27.8% dual smoking, and 7.8% cigarette-only smoking. Participants acknowledged that the flavored tobacco made smoking LCCs more palatable, and it enhanced their moods. The variety of available sweet and fruit flavored LCCs and the visual, smell, and taste cues from the LCC packaging influenced the young adults' affect, their susceptibility to and initiation of LCC smoking, and their switch from cigarettes to flavored LCC smoking. Conclusions: Characterizing flavored tobacco in LCCs contributed to young adults' susceptibility and initiation of use. The FDA is proposing to deem LCCs under its authority. Once these products are deemed, our results suggest that the FDA make a product standard restricting characterizing flavors in LCCs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2015

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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