Objectives. We compared multiple measures of surveillance of "light" cigarette use, including population use, sales, and design features. Measures were obtained before the 2010 descriptors ban to establish a baseline for future evaluation of the effect of the ban. Methods. We examined light cigarette use, sales, and design using 3 data sets from 2009. We assessed population use using National Survey on Drug Use and Health data. Sales data were drawn from AC Nielsen. We gathered design features, including nicotine concentration, filter ventilation, and weight, from tobacco industry disclosures mandated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Results. In 2009, 52.7% of smokers self-reported light cigarette use, which accounted for 56.0% of cigarettes sold in the United States. Self-reported light smokers were more likely to be female, White, older, and nondaily smokers. Of design features analyzed, only average filter ventilation differed significantly between light and "full-flavored" cigarettes. Conclusions. Assessment of the impact of the descriptors ban and any future policies surrounding light cigarettes should use multiple surveillance strategies, including measures of population use, sales, and cigarette design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health