1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse
Cigar Use (Tables 8.12 to 8.15)
Overall Prevalence of Cigar Use, by Age Group (Tables 8.12 to 8.13). More than one-third of the U.S. population aged 12 or older and more than 36% of adults have smoked at least a puff of a cigar in their lifetime (Table 8.12). However, the rate of lifetime cigar use among youths (17%) was less than half the rate for young adults or older adult age groups.
About 6% of the population aged 12 or older had smoked a cigar in the past month (Table 8.13). An estimated 11% of young adults and about 8% of middle adults were current cigar smokers compared with rates of about 5% in the other age categories.
Cigar Use, by Age Group, Gender, and Race/Ethnicity (Tables 8.12 to 8.14). Within all age groups, males were significantly more likely than females to have ever smoked cigars or to be current cigar smokers. Nevertheless, about one in five females in the young adult and middle adult age groups had smoked at least one puff from a cigar in their lifetime compared with about 12% to 14% of females in the other two age categories.
Males as a whole were about 10 times more likely than females to be current cigar smokers (10% vs. 2%, respectively). Among males, the highest rates of current cigar use occurred for young adult males (18%) and middle adult males (13%).
Within all age groups, whites were significantly more likely than blacks or Hispanics to have ever smoked cigars. This finding is consistent with higher rates of cigarette and smokeless tobacco use among whites. In contrast, rates of current cigar use did not vary significantly by race/ethnicity for the total population aged 12 or older. Within the specific age groups, however, whites were significantly more likely than blacks to be current cigar smokers, except among adults aged 35 or older. Among young adults, whites also were significantly more likely than Hispanics to be current cigar smokers. In addition, Hispanics in the young adult and middle adult age groups were significantly more likely than blacks in these age groups to be current cigar smokers.
Table 8.14 shows rates of lifetime and past month cigar use broken out by age group, gender, and race/ethnicity. Within all age groups, both white males and white females had significantly higher rates of lifetime cigar use compared with their black and Hispanic counterparts. In particular, white males between the ages of 12 and 34 were nearly twice as likely as black males to have smoked a cigar in their lifetime. Among women, nearly one-fourth of young adult white women and more than one-fifth of middle adult white women had ever smoked a cigar. In comparison, only about 11% to 14% of black or Hispanic women in these two age groups had ever smoked a cigar.
White and Hispanic males aged 12 to 34 had similar rates of current cigar use, which were about twice the rates among black males. Rates of current cigar use did not differ significantly among females when subdivided further by race/ethnicity.
Current Cigar Use, by Other Demographic Characteristics (Table 8.13). Unlike the general patterns for cigarette and smokeless tobacco use by population density, the prevalence of cigar use in the past month did not differ significantly by population density. Among the total population aged 12 or older, current cigar use was significantly lower in the Northeast region compared with all other Census regions.
Among adults, current cigar use did not vary significantly by educational level. This represents a different pattern from those observed for current cigarette or smokeless tobacco use, where use was significantly lower among adults who had completed college.
Among adults in the total population, those who were currently employed full-time had a significantly higher prevalence of current cigar use compared with adults who were unemployed or were in the "other" employment category. This pattern was similar to that observed for past year and current smokeless tobacco use. This pattern of a higher prevalence of current cigar use among adults who were employed full-time also held for adults aged 18 to 25 and those aged 35 or older.
Cigar Use and Use of Other Drugs (Table 8.15). As was the case with the relationship between cigarette use and use of other drugs, current cigar smokers were more likely than current nonsmokers to have used alcohol or illicit drugs in the past month. For the total population aged 12 or older and among youths, current cigar users were significantly more likely than nonusers to be current users of the other substances shown in Table 8.15. Among young adults, all rates of substance use shown in Table 8.15 were significantly higher among cigar users, except for cocaine. Among adults aged 26 or older, rates of substance use were significantly higher among cigar users, except for cocaine and nonmedical use of psychotherapeutic drugs.
Associations between current cigar use and use of other drugs were especially pronounced among youths. In particular, more than half of the youths who had smoked cigars in the past month also had used one or more illicit drugs in this same period, and nearly half of the youths who were current cigar users also were past month marijuana users. In addition, nearly three-fourths of the youths who were current cigar users had used alcohol in the past month. This rate of past month alcohol use among youths who were current cigar smokers was more than four times the rate for youths who had not smoked cigars in the past month.
This page was last updated on December 30, 2008.