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Focus Groups on Cigars, Cigarillos, and Little Cigars: Awareness, Perceptions, & Behavior

Principal Investigator: Denise Dickinson and Sarah Johnson

Funding Mechanism: Research Contract

ID number: HHSF223201110005B

Award Date: 6/1/2012

Institution: RTI


Sales of cigars, especially little cigars and cigarillos, have risen dramatically in the United States in recent years. The goal of this study is to ascertain the diversity of consumer knowledge, attitudes, and awareness related to cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars.  Investigators will conduct 16 focus groups (including approximately 6-10 participants per group) with young adults (ages 18-24) and adults (ages 25 and older). Young adult groups will be segmented by gender, and groups may be further segmented by race and socioeconomic status.  Focus groups will be conducted in Orlando, Los Angeles, Providence, Richmond, and Washington, D.C.; each city will have at least one focus group for each of the following high-prevalence demographic populations: (a) African-American males; (b) Hispanic males; and (c) white males from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.  Focus groups will cover topics including (but not limited to) participants’ cigar, cigarillo, and/or little cigar use; attitudes and beliefs about the risks of using these products, including perceptions of relative harm compared to other forms of tobacco (e.g., cigarettes); and reactions to advertising and/or labeling for tobacco products. This study may inform the design of future experimental studies and surveys related to cigars, cigarillos, and little cigars, and may inform the FDA’s efforts to implement the provisions of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act related to educating the public about the harms of tobacco use.