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Open Access Changes in the Mass-merchandise Cigar Market since the Tobacco Control Act

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Objectives: This study identifies the specific product characteristics driving mass-merchandise cigar sales in the context of the changing regulatory environment. Methods: Cigar sales data in US convenience stores during 2008-2015 were purchased from Nielsen's Convenience Track system. Descriptive statistics highlight changes in the cigar market over time. Results: Sales of flavored cigars increased by nearly 50% since 2008 and now make up over half of the cigar market. Fruit remains the most popular flavor group, but the sale of non-descript flavors such as "Jazz" and "Green" has grown substantially. Inexpensive 2- and 3-packs made up less than 1% of cigar sales in 2008, but by 2015 this packaging style held 40% of the market share. Black & Mild and Swisher Sweets dominate the convenience store channel and together are responsible for nearly 60% of total mass-merchandise cigar sales. Conclusions: Cigar companies take advantage of features recently banned for cigarettes, such as flavorings and small pack sizes to maintain strong sales. Given the appeal of mass-merchandise cigars to youth and young adults, the FDA and other governing bodies should regulate the manufacturing and promotion of cigars in the same way they have regulated cigarettes.

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Keywords: CIGARILLOS; CIGARS; FLAVORS; RETAIL; TOBACCO CONTROL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2017

More about this publication?
  • 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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