Introduction: Cigarillo use is prevalent among young adults in the United States. Many young people use cigarillos as "blunts," a term for a cigar emptied of its tobacco and replaced with marijuana. Because cigars in the United States are not subject to the same regulations as cigarettes, they offer a diverse selection of flavors and packaging styles. It is unclear how these and other product attributes facilitate blunt use. Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a sample of 40 young adult cigar or cigarillo users in the United States to assess patterns of use and perceptions about product features. Quotations from interview transcripts were coded for major themes and summarized across participants. Results: Regardless of their preferred brand, participants felt that the brand Black & Mild is primarily smoked for the tobacco. There was a strong perception, however, that other popular cigarillo brands are almost always used to make blunts. Participants believed that cigarillo companies design their products to simplify blunt-making, with features such as perforated lines or wrappings that unroll easily. Resealable foil pouches, a popular packaging style, are often used to hold unused marijuana and mask its smell. Conclusions: Blunt use is pervasive among young adult cigarillo users in the United States, and certain cigar companies have developed products that facilitate blunt-making. Future surveillance measures should capture the extent to which cigarillo users are using these products as blunts. Continued surveillance of cigarillo sales and popular product attributes are needed. Implications: Cigarillo use is prevalent among young adults in the United States, many of whom are using the products as blunts. This study found that product features such as brand, flavor, packaging, and price influence the selection of cigarillos used for this purpose. There is also a strong perception among young adult cigarillo users that cigarillo companies design their products and packaging to make the blunt-making process simple and enjoyable. Better surveillance measures are needed to capture the extent to which cigarillos are used as blunts and which product features are driving category growth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health