When the subject of tobacco is discussed in these articles, I am usually referring to cigarettes. Of course, I have also been outspoken about the need to control vaping among the younger population. However, one tobacco product which I have not often discussed is the cigar. The 2009 Tobacco Control Act authorized the FDA to regulate tobacco products, but not until 2016 did the FDA begin to assert its authority over cigars.

If you are cigar smoker, you know that cigars have fallen victim to the same attempts to attract a younger market. Key flavors in the form of fruit, sweet/candy, wine, and mint/menthol have been used to improve the attractiveness of cigar smoking. One interesting marketing ploy has been to reduce the number of cigars in a packet. It appears that cigar smokers and, particularly younger smokers, prefer cigar packets that only contain 2 to 3 cigars, rather than the usual 5. These smaller pack sizes hold appeal for younger age groups and may facilitate experimentation.

A study looking at cigar sales found that over 90% of cigar sales occurred in convenience stores, which are popular with younger age groups. The study did not monitor cigar types. Although there is no legal definition of cigarillos, the top cigar brands are mid-sized cigars that most consumers identify as cigarillos.

Cigars have the same potential to cause lung disease including lung cancer. Historically, cigar smokers also had an increased incidence of mouth and tongue cancers.

There is no safe tobacco product!