The mid 1960’s saw an uptick in the little cigars market. These smaller cigars included flavors apart from tobacco(e.g., cherry, were milder than traditional cigars, and found a market among women. 1
Many of the advertisements in this section emphasize the mildness of the cigar and are targeted to women. In this section, you will come across a series of Tiparillo advertisements. In 1966, Tiparillo launched an advertising series “Should a gentleman offer a Tiparillo to a lady?” While these advertisements were targeted at women, the ads focused more on female acceptance of cigars than use of the product. None of the women in the advertisement are actually seen using the product. A decade later, Tiparillo ran another advertising campaign, this one focused on female use of the product. In this series of advertisements for Tiparillo, the text suggest that times have changed as women have started to enjoy smoking the mild tasting cigar. Another brand, Wolf Brother’s Cherry Little Cigar even had a line in its advertising copy, “She’ll like them too.”
In 1971, RJR introduced its first little cigar, Winchester, which quickly became the largest selling brand of little cigars. The cigars were of the size and shape of cigarettes and contained a “filter tip” that “could easily be inhaled.” In one of its advertisements, a woman with a cowboy hat, her hair pulled around her face to create a mustache, is holding a Winchester cigar. The advertising text suggests that smoking the mild cigar is masculine.
Tobacco industry documents show that tobacco companies used flavors to mask the harshness of natural tobacco and target adolescents. In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration prohibited the use of characterizing flavors (e.g., cherry, honey) except for mint in cigarettes.2 However, the use of such flavors in cigars, cigarillos and little cigars were not banned by the FDA. The availability of flavors among little cigars and their attractive pricing are making these cigars attractive to teenagers. In 2014, 63.5% of middle and high school students surveyed reported smoking a flavored mini cigar.3
1. Kostygina G, Glantz SA, Ling PM. Tobacco industry use of flavours to recruit new users of little cigars and cigarillos. Tob Con. 2016; 5:66–74.
2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Press Announcement: Candy and Fruit Flavored Cigarettes Now Illegal in United States; Step is First Under New Tobacco Law. Published September 22, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm183211.htm.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking & Tobacco Use: Cigars. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/tobacco_industry/cigars/.