Trends in Cigar Sales and Prices, by Product and Flavor Type—the United States, 2016–2020
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Trends in Cigar Sales and Prices, by Product and Flavor Type—the United States, 2016–2020

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  • Alternative Title:
    Nicotine Tob Res
  • Personal Author:
  • Description:

    Cigar smoking has increased in recent decades as the cigar product landscape has diversified. This study assessed trends in US cigar sales during 2016–2020.

    Aims and Methods:

    Unit sales and average unit price for cigars were assessed during January 3, 2016–June 13, 2020, overall and by product and flavor type, for the 48 contiguous US states and D.C. Assessed cigar types were large cigars, little cigars, and cigarillos; assessed flavor types were tobacco/unflavored, candy/sweets, fruit, menthol, alcohol, coffee, other flavors, and no flavor stated. A joinpoint regression model was used to assess the magnitude and significance of sales trends.


    During January 3, 2016–June 13, 2020, unit sales of cigarillos increased (average monthly percentage change [AMPC] = 0.7%, p < .001), while unit sales of large cigars (AMPC = −0.8%, p < .001) and little cigars decreased (AMPC = −0.2%, p < .001). The average price of cigarillos gradually decreased since mid-August 2017 (AMPC = −0.1%, p < .001), and the average price of little cigars decreased from mid-June 2016 to mid-June 2019 (AMPC = −0.3%, p < .001). In contrast, the average price of large cigars increased during the entire study period (AMPC = 0.6%, p < .001). Irrespective of cigar type, tobacco-flavored/unflavored products were the most commonly sold cigars during the assessed period; however, sales of other flavors varied by cigar type.


    Cigar sales and price vary by type over time in the United States, including sales of cigarillos (94.2% of unit sales) increasing as their prices have decreased in recent years. Public health strategies are warranted to address the full scope of cigar types being used in the United States.


    Surveillance of cigar sales data, including product characteristics, can provide a timely complement to self-reported survey data of cigar use. This study assessed trends in US cigar sales during 2016–2020, including by product and flavor type. The findings indicate that sales of cigarillos, which comprise most cigar sales in the United States during the assessed period, increased as their prices decreased. Sales of certain flavors, such as candy/sweet cigarillos and coffee large cigars, increased significantly. These findings reinforce the importance of evidence-based strategies, including increasing price and restricting flavors, to reduce the affordability and consumption of cigars in the United States.

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