The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published new study that the rate of cigarette smoking among young people continues to decrease, but the situation with another tobacco product is not so good.
The study revealed that, from 2009 to 2011, cigar smoking by African-American youth increased from 7.1% to 11.7%. 15.7% of high school boys are cigar smokers, a rate that has not changed in recent years.
Thus, it can be said that he popularity of cigars among teenagers grows increasingly.
Tobacco companies have been advertising and selling a large variety of tobacco products — small cigars, cigarillos and blunts — that possess sweet flavors, have cheap prices and colorful packaging. Sweet, cheap and colorful always appeal to kids.
Besides, some cigars have been sold particularly to African-American teenagers, sometimes through association with hip-hop music.
Tobacco product such as cigar is marketed in flavors such as banana, chocolate, grape, mango, peach, sour apple, strawberry and watermelon. These sweet flavors dim the strong flavor of tobacco and make cigars seem as safe and fun as candy or ice cream.
Little cigars can be bought almost in every tobacco store sometimes for less than 70 cents. Such price makes little cigars to be very affordable to youth with limited budgets. Contrarily, cigarettes are sold in packs of 20, which have an average retail price of $5.98 cents per pack.
Many little cigars are packed in bright, attractive packaging that is similar to candy and gum packages. Again, the goal is to present cigars as fun and harmless.
Targeted Marketing to African-American Kids
Trendsettah USA, a California company, has features flavored cigars called “Hoodwraps” to urban young people, by means of names such as “Da Bomb Blueberry” and “Swagberry.” The company used slogan: “So Hood. So Good.”
Cigars are as well getting popularity from popular music performers. For example, rapper Snoop Dogg launched a cigar brand called Executive Branch Cigarillos and has made a music video featuring it.
Or the video of hip-hop artist Just Nick, who sings “I don’t smoke weed, but I’m going to puff me a Black & Mild, gotta be the wood tips … if I get stressed I light one up and it just fades away… To the R to the A to the B, it’s only a dollar, stop hassling me.”
A government study demonstrates that Black & Mild is the most wide-spread cigar brand among youth aged 12-17 years. Black & Mild is manufactured by John Middleton, Inc., a subsidiary of Altria, which is as well the owner of company of Philip Morris USA.