I like having the choice to enjoy a flavored cigar. What’s CAA’s take on the controversy?
Flavorings have been used in the cigar industry since at least the early 1500s and are still one of the ways cigar manufacturers provide adult consumers a variety of choices. The popularity of fruit and other flavors among adult consumers is not unique to tobacco and is easily observed in other adult product categories like coffee and spirits.
Flavored cigars defy conventional spin in a couple of ways.
First, flavorings are not confined to the less-expensive, non-premium sector of the cigar market. As an article in Cigar Aficionado noted back in 2005, “flavored products are taking a market position that is quite unheard of in their long history: the premium cigar segment.” The magazine reported that 17 percent of premium cigar smokers in a poll said they smoked flavored cigars. And a writer on the website of Cigars International said, “increasingly, there is a sort of flight to quality among flavored cigars.”
Second, the availability of flavored cigars has not resulted in an increase in cigar consumption overall, nor youth consumption. In fact, the most recent national studies show youth cigar usage on the decline.
Most recently, the Results from the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Summary of National Findings, showed a decline in cigar usage among youths aged 12 to 17 from 4.5 percent in 2002 to 3.2 percent in 2010, a 1.3 percent drop.
Whether or not flavored cigars are part of your adult recreational choice or not, the fact is, political attacks on those products are based upon spinning out a blatant appeal to emotion and are contradicted by the best available data. As always, the Cigar Association of America monitors and works in all 50 states to advocate for the cigar business and consumers when those political attacks take the form of legislative or regulatory challenges.