Cigar magazines: using tobacco to sell a lifestyle
- aInstitute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California, USA, bInstitute for Health Policy Studies, Department of Clinical Pharmacy, and Department of Physiological Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, cInstitute for Health Policy Studies and Department of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California, San Francisco
- Ruth Malone, PhD, University of California San Francisco, Institute for Health Policy Studies, Box 0936, Laurel Heights, San Francisco, CA 94143–0936, USA
- Received 30 October 2000
- Revised 27 April 2001
- Accepted 3 May 2001
OBJECTIVE To assess the content of two cigar “lifestyle” magazines,Cigar Aficionado andSmoke.
DESIGN Content analysis of cigar focused articles.
SUBJECTS Cigar focused articles (n = 353) from Cigar Aficionadoand Smoke magazines.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Primary focus; mention of health effects, environmental tobacco smoke, or scientific research; quotation and description of individuals; characteristics such as sex, age, ethnicity, smoking status, affiliation, and stance towards cigars; and overall image of cigars.
RESULTS Cigar business-focused articles were the largest category (40%, n = 143), followed by articles about cigar events (12%, n = 42). Notable were articles featuring cigar benefits to raise money for health charities. Celebrities were featured in 34% (n = 121) of articles and 96% (n = 271) favoured cigar use. Only four (1%) articles featured health effects of cigars as a primary focus.
CONCLUSIONS Cigar Aficionado and Smoke broke new ground in tobacco marketing by combining promotion of product, lifestyle, and industry in the same vehicle and linking the medium directly to product related events that extended its reach. The creation and marketing of new tobacco use sites challenges the increasing “isolation” of smokers, and positions cigar use as a socially welcome relief from restrictions. Public health advocates should anticipate and challenge other new tobacco marketing vehicles as communications technologies advance and public spaces for smoking shrink.