LAKEVILLE, Minn. – As part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA's) public comment process to evaluate three tobacco-related topics, NATO recently revealed the comments it submitted about premium cigars, which included results of a survey meant to identify common characteristics of a typical cigar smoker.
The process was part of three separate Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRMs) that the FDA initiated in the spring covering nicotine levels in cigarettes, flavors in tobacco products and premium cigars. All three ANPRMs ended on separate dates in July.
For its submission, the Lakeville, Minn.-based retail tobacco association conducted a survey of its members, asking about cigar smokers and what common characteristics they shared. In the premium-cigar ANPRM, the FDA requested comments from the public and the industry about when individuals began smoking premium cigars and premium-cigar use patterns.
The survey results included:
- The average age range that individuals begin smoking premium cigars is 25 to 35.
- Of premium-cigar smokers who use other tobacco products (OTP), the survey found that 54% smoke a pipe, 52% smoke domestic cigars, 24% smoke cigarettes, 11% use smokeless tobacco and 7% use electronic cigarettes or vapor products.
- While the survey responses varied, most premium-cigar smokers smoke two to five premium cigars per week and 10 to 25 premium cigars per month.
The FDA will review the comments submitted on each of the three ANPRMs and then decide whether to draft proposed regulations, NATO officials said.