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Tob Regul Sci. 2017 Apr;3(2 Suppl 1):S8-S16.

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

Author information

1
Professor, Rutgers School of Public Health, Center for Tobacco Studies, Piscataway, NJ.
2
Assistant Professor, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York City, NY.
3
Research Associate, Rutgers School of Public Health, Center for Tobacco Studies, Piscataway, NJ.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

cigarillos; cigars; flavors; retail; tobacco control

PMID:
28317004
PMCID:
PMC5351883
[Available on 2017-04-01]

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