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A comparison of methods to measure daily cigarillo consumption among adolescents and young adults
  1. Elizabeth Antognoli1,
  2. Karen J Ishler1,2,
  3. Erika Trapl3,
  4. Susan A Flocke1,4
  1. 1 Center for Community Health Integration, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  2. 2 Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  3. 3 Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  4. 4 Department of Family Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Antognoli, Center for Community Health Integration, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7136, USA; ela{at}


Objective Cigarillo use is widespread among young people. Accurate assessment of cigarillo consumption is necessary to inform and evaluate tobacco research, but is complicated by product sharing and irregular use. This study compares a conventional approach with a detailed approach for measuring cigarillo consumption.

Methods Data are drawn from a cross-sectional, web-based survey of 1089 young (aged 15–28 years) cigarillo smokers. The conventional measure of cigarillo consumption employs two common tobacco use items—the number of days a product was smoked in the past month and the average number of products smoked per day. The detailed measure uses a time line follow-back procedure to assess product use on each of the past 7 days, both in a group and alone. Paired t-tests compare daily cigarillo use estimates from the two methods overall, and are stratified by sample characteristics and behaviours; associations with multiple factors are examined simultaneously using linear regression.

Results Compared with the conventional measure, the detailed measure yields significantly higher daily consumption estimates for moderate and high-level users and for non-daily tobacco users, and significantly lower estimates for those who always share products and daily tobacco users. Differences remain after controlling for demographics and product use behaviours. There are no differences by gender, age, race or multiple product use.

Conclusions The two measurement methods yield significantly different consumption estimates based on sharing behaviour, regularity of use and use level. Improving accuracy in the measurement of tobacco product consumption is important and timely for tobacco control research and policy.

  • Nnon-cigarette tobacco products
  • public policy
  • addiction

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the conceptualisation of the study idea, the refinement of the research questions, the interpretation of findings, drafting of the manuscript and development of the final manuscript. KJI led the data analyses and the writing of the methods and results sections; EA led the writing of the introduction and the discussion sections. ET and SAF contributed to writing and refining all of the manuscript sections. EA is the corresponding author for this manuscript and SAF is the guarantor for this manuscript and the larger study from which these data are drawn.

  • Funding This work was supported by the Center for Tobacco Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (R01CA190130).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The Institutional Review Board at Case Western Reserve University.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.