Background Although numerous studies have documented the prevalence and increasing use of little cigars and other cigar products, the present study is the first direct, head-to-head laboratory comparison of little cigar and cigarette smoking. The study addressed a fundamental objective to compare exposure and use characteristics of little cigar and cigarette smoking.
Methods Smoking patterns, toxicant exposure and subjective measures were collected and analysed in 21 adults after smoking a little cigar (Winchester) and a cigarette (own brand). Participants were dual users of little cigars and cigarettes.
Results Similar to cigarettes, little cigars delivered substantial nicotine and relatively more carbon monoxide. Puff volume, puff duration and time to smoke were significantly greater after cigarettes, but the temporal pattern of smoking more intensively at the beginning was similar in little cigars and cigarettes. Both little cigars and cigarettes reduced urge to smoke. Participants consistently mentioned that the lower cost of little cigars was a reason for initiation and continuation of their use.
Conclusions The results support the notion that regulation of little cigars is appropriate in light of public health considerations.
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