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Blunt Use among Adolescents and Young Adults: Informing Cigar Regulations

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Objectives: We used focus groups to understand cigar product features that increase the appeal of blunts (hollowed out cigars filled with marijuana) among adolescents and young adults. Methods: With a standardized focus group guide, we assessed cigar use behaviors and perceptions among lifetime cigar users (N = 47; 8 focus groups separated by sex and age group [adolescents, young adults]) in 2016. We analyzed data related to blunts. Results: Overall, 85.5% of the participants had smoked a blunt in the past 30 days (38% used daily). Participants perceived that cheap cigar brands were used primarily for blunts. Cigar product features that made them useful for blunts included wide availability, easy accessibility (easy to bypass underage purchasing restrictions), attractive flavors, inexpensive cost, perforated wrappers that make cigars easy to open, and ability to remove the inner wrapper (also referred to as "cancer paper") to reduce the risk of harm. Conclusions: Various product features of cigars make it easy for adolescents and young adults to manipulate them to create blunts. Tobacco regulations that include restrictions on product characteristics, as well as enforcement of prohibition of sales of cigars to underage minors are needed. Youth also need to be educated about harms of blunt use.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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