Direct-to-Consumer Marketing of Cigar Productsin the United States

Ollie Ganz, Lyubov Teplitskaya, Jennifer Cantrell, Elizabeth C. Hair, Donna Vallone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Although cigar use and sales have increased in the United States over the past decade,little is known about how these products are promoted. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisingis a common method used to promote tobacco products and may be a potential channel throughwhich cigars are advertised.Methods: Comperemedia (Mintel) was used to acquire opt-in direct mail and email advertising forthe top 10 cigar brands in the United States between January 2013 and July 2014. The advertisementand corresponding data on brand, advertising spend, and mail volume were downloadedand summarized. Promotions such as coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes were also examined.Results: A total of 92 unique advertisements met the search criteria and included two brands: Black & Mild (n = 77) and Swisher Sweets (n = 15). Expenditures on direct mail advertising during thisperiod totaled $12 809 630. Black & Mild encompassed 80% of total direct mail volume and 78% ofdirect mail advertising expenditures. Almost all advertisements contained at least one promotion(88%) and included a URL to the product website (85%).Conclusions: The results suggest that Black & Mild and Swisher Sweets are the primary cigar brandsusing DTC advertising. Promotional offers were nearly ubiquitous among the advertisements,which may appeal to price-sensitive populations. Future studies should continue to examine cigaradvertising via direct mail and email, in addition to other channels, such as the point-of-sale.Implications: Although cigar use and sales have increased in the United States over the past decade,there is limited data on cigar advertising. This article provides a snapshot of expenditures,volume, and promotional content of DTC cigar advertising in the United States between January2013 and July 2014.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberntv136
Pages (from-to)864-868
Number of pages5
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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