Colorado PROFILES, The Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI)
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The recent dramatic increase in cigar use in the United States represents an issue of urgent concern for those working with youth. Media and tobacco industry sources often attribute the cigar boom to "internal" factors such as personal resentment of health recommendations, but we theorize that two "external" factors--print/internet media coverage and tobacco industry activity-- may also have key roles in creating and sustaining this trend. The objectives of this qualitative study are a) to investigate and explicate the role of these two "external" factors in promoting cigar smoking as a socially popular behavior, particularly among youth/young adults; and b) to use these findings to develop policy recommendations for public health strategies to reverse the cigar trend. Our broad goal is to provide a scientific foundation for policy and public health interventions to decrease cigar use.

The specific aims of the study are:

1)track and compare trends in cigar advertising, sales, and print media coverage; 2)analyze the content of cigar coverage in newspaper and magazine article and in high school newspapers; 3)analyze cigar advertising and cigar images in U.S. magazines; 4)examine and classify cigar-related sites on the Worid Wide Web; 5) examine the role of the tobacco industry in contributing to media coverage of cigars and in promoting cigar use, which will include (a)analyzing industry documents from the Tobacco Control Archives at UCSF; (b) analyzing other materials from the cigar industry; and (c) interviewing and surveying journalists (including high school journalists) about their sources of information for cigar-related articles.

We will use our analyses to develop specific, data-based policy recommendations for a proactive public health agenda on cigar smoking in youth.
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