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Grant Details

Grant Number: 5R01CA228906-03 Interpret this number
Primary Investigator: Sterling, Kymberle
Organization: University Of Texas Hlth Sci Ctr Houston
Project Title: Implied Modified Risk Statements as Predictors of Flavored Little Cigar and Cigarillo Use
Fiscal Year: 2020


PROJECT SUMMARY In August 2016, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended its regulatory authority to LCCs and other tobacco products.[1] While bringing the products under the regulatory authority of the FDA was a critical step to protecting the public’s health, LCCs currently are not regulated as stringently as cigarettes. For example, LCCs have fewer advertising, packaging and marketing restrictions and are available in characterizing flavors (including sweet, fruit, alcohol, mint, and menthol flavors). The FDA has indicated their intention to impose more stringent regulations on all cigar products (including LCCs), but there is less scientific basis of regulation for these products. Our proposed study will address this knowledge gap by providing empirical evidence that documents if flavored LCC product packaging, an important form of advertisement,[2] influences young adults’ preferences for LCCs, risk perceptions and LCC smoking behavior. We will address these gaps using survey and focus group research that prospectively examines if receptivity to flavored LCC product descriptors (e.g. text, colors, images) influences risk perceptions and predicts future LCC behaviors among racially/ethnically diverse young adults. To complement our survey and focus group research, we will also conduct experimental research that will inform the FDA about specific package design feature(s) (e.g. descriptors, pack size, and/or price) that influence(s) young adults’ preferences for flavored LCCs and their susceptibility/intention to use the products—proxies for future behavior. Our proposed research is significant and impactful because it will provide evidence of misleading claims on flavored LCC packaging about the risk of LCC use. Data from this study will supplement any evidence the FDA collects during its surveillance, inspections, and investigations to enable the agency’s determination of compliance violations. Our findings will contribute to the scientific evidence base that may also inform the development of product standards for LCC packaging and the development of future FDA public education campaigns that inform about the risks of LCC smoking. .


Recency measures matter: Variability in reported last use of tobacco and marijuana products among a nationally representative study of U.S. young adults.
Authors: Pike Moore S. , Masyn K.E. , Fryer C. , Lee E. , Gunzler D. , Trapl E. , Shang C. , Sterling K.L. .
Source: Addictive behaviors, 2023 Sep; 144, p. 107746.
EPub date: 2023-05-03.
PMID: 37163886
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The Portrayal of Premium Cigar Selling Propositions in Lifestyle Magazines: A Content Analysis.
Authors: Sterling K.L. , Franco N. , Lee E. , Tang C. , Geller A. , Mead A. , Anderson M. , Kong G. .
Source: Nicotine & tobacco research : official journal of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, 2023-07-28; 25(Suppl_1), p. S69-S75.
PMID: 37506232
Related Citations

Tobacco Whack-A-Mole: A Consumption Taxonomy of Cigar & Other Combustible Tobacco Products among a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Adults.
Authors: Sterling K.L. , Masyn K. , Moore S.P. , Fryer C.S. , Trapl E. , Shang C. , Gunzler D. .
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2022-11-18; 19(22), .
EPub date: 2022-11-18.
PMID: 36429968
Related Citations

Changes in Little Cigar and Cigarillo Use during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of a Nationally Representative Sample of Young Adult Users.
Authors: Lee E. , Moore S.P. , Trapl E. , Fryer C.S. , Gunzler D. , Sterling K.L. .
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2022-07-22; 19(15), .
EPub date: 2022-07-22.
PMID: 35897303
Related Citations

US Food and Drug Administration Action on Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars-A Pivotal Moment for Health Equity.
Authors: Villanti A.C. , Sterling K. , Rose S.W. .
Source: JAMA network open, 2022-06-01; 5(6), p. e2217150.
EPub date: 2022-06-01.
PMID: 35666505
Related Citations

Impact of Little Cigars and Cigarillos Packaging Features on Product Preference.
Authors: Shang C. , Nonnemaker J. , Sterling K. , Sobolewski J. , Weaver S.R. .
Source: International journal of environmental research and public health, 2021-10-30; 18(21), .
EPub date: 2021-10-30.
PMID: 34769959
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