A comparison of methods to measure daily cigarillo consumption among adolescents and young adults

Elizabeth Antognoli, Karen J. Ishler, Erika Trapl, Susan A. Flocke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages6
JournalTobacco Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Nnon-cigarette tobacco products
  • addiction
  • public policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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