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NCJ Number: 205784 Find in a Library
Title: Cigars, Cigarillos, and Youth: Emergent Patterns in Subcultural Complexes
Journal: Journal of Ethnicity in Substance Abuse  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:2003  Pages:63-76
Author(s): J. Bryan Page Ph.D.; Sian Evans Ph.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 14
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study sought to originally observe and characterize tobacco use among youth in two Florida counties.
Abstract: In Spring 2001, the State of Florida and the University of Miami proposed a study of smoking among young people. The study focused on youth smoking in the Gainesville and Miami-Dade areas and initial observations took place near a middle school in Miami-Dade County. Other observations and interviews took place in sites near schools, convenience stores and shopping centers. African-American and Hispanic youth between 11-15 years of age took part in the study only after researchers obtained informed parental consent. In the course of these observations, researchers noted that one particular tobacco product, the Black & Mild cigarillo, appeared to be extremely popular among African-American middle school students. The Black & Mile cigarillo contains between 5 and 12 times the nicotine of cigarettes and has apparently become the tobacco product of choice among African-American youth in the survey area. Youthful users of these cigarillos tend not to recognize them as tobacco and believe that they contain no nicotine. Reports from researchers in Gainesville indicated that similar patterns of smoking were occurring there among African-American youth. Background research indicated that Black & Milds, or similar products, enjoyed strong popularity throughout Miami-Dade County, especially among African-American males. Black & Milds have achieved iconic status in the subcultural contexts surrounding rap music. Music videos frequently depict rappers either smoking Black & Milds or carrying them behind their ears. Several other brands of cheroots and cigarillos have gained recent popularity among young African-Americans, but the Black & Mild brand seems to have particular appeal to fans and adherents of Hip-Hop. A convenience store manager in North Dade related that he had a choice of either selling these products to minors or risking broken glass or other vandalism, both more immediate threats to his livelihood than the State’s sanctions against selling to minors. The availability of a strong nicotine preparation in a product offered at an accessible price has led Black & Milds to finding a niche in a market where it had not had a previous foothold. Black & Milds and other equivalent cigarillos are almost ubiquitous in convenience stores and other retail outlets in Miami and elsewhere in Florida. Ethnographic study of tobacco use has the potential for identifying and characterizing many more unidentified and uncharacterized tobacco-using behaviors and the authors recommend this approach, especially in the quest for understanding the process of learning how to use tobacco. 2 notes, 18 references
Main Term(s): Black/African Americans; Tobacco use; Youth (Under 15)
Index Term(s): Florida; Missing person investigation; Television programming
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