Flavored cigar smoking among African American young adult dual users: An ecological momentary assessment

Julia Cen Chen-Sankey, Kelvin Choi, Thomas R. Kirchner, Robert H. Feldman, James Butler, Erin L. Mead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Flavored cigar sales have increased in recent years in the U.S. African American young adults (AAYAs) have high prevalence of smoking flavored cigars and dual use with cigarettes, but the predictors of use are unclear. We examined the predictors of flavored cigar smoking among AAYA dual users. Methods: We analyzed data from an Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) study that captured near real-time affect, smoking cues, and tobacco smoking from eight text-messaging surveys per day over two weeks. Sixty-three AAYA (ages 18–29) dual users of cigarettes and cigars recorded 1205 cigar smoking moments. Multivariable Generalized Estimating Equations were used to assess the predictors of smoking cigars with flavors and specific flavor types. Results: Half of the participants were women (49.2%) and aged between 18–24 (46.7%). Over the two-weeks, almost all (98.4%) participants smoked flavored cigars, and 64.2% of the cigars smoked were flavored. Alcohol (34.4%) was the most frequently smoked flavor type followed by sweet (23.4%) and mint (5.7%). Feeling stressed (AOR = 1.07) and bored (AOR = 1.10) predicted smoking alcohol flavors. Blunt smoking positively predicted smoking sweet flavors (AOR = 4.79), but negatively predicted smoking alcohol flavors (AOR = 0.40). Conclusions: Smoking flavored cigars, especially alcohol-flavored cigars, was prevalent among AAYA dual users in this study. This group might use specific flavors for different purposes including smoking blunts and boosting mood. Efforts to reduce cigar use need to tackle these risk factors and the increased marketing and low-cost pricing of cigars. A federal ban of cigar flavors might reduce the appeal of cigar products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-85
Number of pages7
JournalDrug and alcohol dependence
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Cigars
  • Craving
  • Dual use
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Flavored cigars
  • Flavored tobacco
  • Health disparities
  • Mood
  • Smoking cues
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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