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Cancer Center Support Grant: Impact of Cigar Product Characteristics on Young People's Cigar Use and Perceptions

Principal Investigators: Robert S. DiPaola and Cristine Delnevo

Funding Mechanism:  Intra-Departmental Delegation of Authority (IDDA)

ID Number: 3P30CA072720-17S1

Award Date:  7/21/2014

Institution: Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey 


While cigarette consumption in the United States is declining, cigar consumption has more than doubled since 2000. Cigar product and marketing characteristics (including flavorings such as fruit, candy, and alcohol) may increase cigars’ appeal to young people, but data on the extent to which cigar product and marketing characteristics influence use are limited. The goal of this project is to explore the impact of product features such as brand, flavor, and packaging on young adults’ cigar initiation, use, and perceptions. Specific aims are: (1) to understand consumer perceptions of cigar features; and (2) to examine the impact of cigar packaging features on consumer perceptions. Researchers will conduct semi-structured interviews with 40 cigar smokers aged 18-30 to understand their reasons for using cigars and assess their perceptions of product characteristics (e.g., flavor, packaging). Qualitative findings will be used to inform the development and implementation of a nationally-representative population-based Internet survey of approximately 800 past-year cigar smokers aged 18-30. In this survey, participants will be randomly assigned to one of 12 cigar pack conditions (2 brands x 3 flavors x 2 packaging types) and asked to rate the product on a number of consumer perception measures. As a secondary research effort, researchers will analyze national Nielsen market data from 2008-2014 to better understand the impact of product features on cigar sales; researchers will evaluate attributes such as type, brand, flavoring, size (e.g., little cigar or cigarillo), packaging, and promotions (e.g., buy-one-get-one-free) and calculate their impact on total sales, market share, and contribution to overall cigar growth. Research findings will provide information about the impact of cigar product and marketing characteristics on initiation, use, and perceptions, and may inform regulatory activities related to cigars.