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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 12:00 PM

Candy Cigarette Use is Associated with Increased Tobacco Smoking in Adults

Jonathan D. Klein, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Ave. #690, Rochester, NY 14618 and Randall Thomas, Harris Interactive, 60 Corporate Woods Drive, Rochester, NY 14623.

Background: Candy cigarettes are perceived as ‘smoking toys', allowing children to model smoking behaviors in response to advertising. In one study, candy cigarettes were associated with increased tobacco use by adolescents.

Objective: We examined whether a history of self-reported candy cigarette use was associated with adult smoking.

Methods: Online survey of 6698 adults from the Harris Poll Online, an Internet research panel with 5 million US members. All respondents were asked whether they were current, former or never smokers. Respondents were randomly assigned to dichotomous (yes/no) or to a dose-response scale (never, rarely, sometimes, often, or very often) to assess candy cigarette use.

Results: 26% of respondents reported being current smokers and 31% reported ever smoking. Candy cigarette use was reported by 89% of both current and ever smokers, compared to 81% of never smokers (p<0.001). The odds of smoking for those using vs. not using candy cigarettes was 1.82 (95%CI; 1.50-2.22). Odds ratios for smoking increased with increasing candy cigarette use: 1.23 (0.99 – 1.53) for rarely, 1.87 (1.51 – 2.32) sometimes, 2.46 (1.86 – 3.27) often, and 2.04 (1.38 – 3.03) for very often. Final results will include >50,000 respondents, and will be weighted to the age, sex, race, education, region and household income of the US population and propensity adjusted to account for the likelihood of being on-line and of responding to the survey invitation. Conclusion: Use of candy cigarettes is associated with an increased risk of ever smoking as an adult. Elimination of candy cigarette products may help support tobacco use prevention goals.