Cigarillo use increases estimates of teen smoking rates by half

New findings from the Monitoring the Future Study (links to PDF) show that when cigarillos (i.e., small cigars) are counted along with cigarettes, rates of tobacco smoking are higher by 67%. For example, rates of tobacco smoking among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders are 6.7% when only counting cigarettes, but after counting cigarillo use, the rate jumps to 11.2%. Cheap cigar and cigarillo use has increased over the past decade, while cigarette use has declined. Therefore, this finding is important to the degree teens are simply shifting to smoking different tobacco products. My suspicion is that much of the rise in cigarillo use is due to marijuana blunt smoking. However, there has been little published on the degree to which teens smoke cigarillos unmodified vs. modified for blunts, or the levels of nicotine exposure from blunt smoking. Both are areas of my active research.

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