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Prev Chronic Dis. 2019 Jun 20;16:E77. doi: 10.5888/pcd16.180624.

Single Cigar Price and Availability in Communities With and Without a Cigar Packaging and Pricing Regulation.

Author information

1
Office of Statistics and Evaluation, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02108. E-mail: Lindsay.Kephart@state.ma.us.
3
Massachusetts Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Single cigars are available for sale throughout the tobacco retail environment, are often sold for prices as low as 49 cents, and are available in flavors that appeal to youth. Since 2012, 151 municipalities in Massachusetts have enacted a minimum cigar packaging and pricing regulation that increases the price of a single cigar to a minimum of $2.50 and the price of multi-packs of 2 cigars to a minimum of $5.00. We used pricing data collected from retailers across the state to measure the effect of the regulation on price and availability of single cigars over the long term. From 2014 through 2018, the statewide average price of single cigars increased from $1.35 to $1.64, concurrent with a decrease in statewide availability. Prices of single cigars were higher in communities with the regulation but also rose over time in communities without the regulation. The increased price and decreased availability of single cigars may reduce youth exposure and access to these products.

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