Flavored Cigarillos and Young Adults


Cigarillo Flavor and Abuse Liability, Attention, and Substitution in Youth   

The goal of this project is to better understand how flavor plays a role in visual attention, use intention and purchasing behavior among young adult cigarillo users to help inform future tobacco policy regarding flavored cigarillo availability and advertising.

Project Aims

  • Aim 1 of this study is informed by interviews that will be used to guide the development of a survey of young adult cigarillo users to understand the role of flavor on appeal, purchasing, and risk perceptions of different cigarillo products.

  • Aim 2 uses eye-tracking software to examine the visual attention of flavored and unflavored cigarillo advertisements.

  • Aim 3 uses an experimental tobacco marketplace wherein participants will be given different scenarios to hypothetically purchase select types of tobacco products.

Little Cigar Packages

Communities of Focus

  • Young Adults

  • Sexual Gender Minorities

Timeline & History

C-FLASH is a culminating research project which has been supported by past work of Dr. Erika Trapl and the other investigators. The Little Cigar Study served as much of the foundation for this current project. This study will be conducted over 3 years beginning in 2019.

    • Year 1 was spent getting IRB approval and developing a cognitive interview process to guide survey content for Aim 1.
    • In Year 2, the survey was launched and analyzed. Also in Year 2, the Aim 3 experimental tobacco marketplace was developed.  
    • In Year 3, data collection will be launched for Aims 2 and 3.
Example of the Experimental Tobacco Marketplace

Team Members & Collaborators

Principal Investigators & Co-Investigators

    • Erika Trapl, PhD, associate professor in Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at Case Western Reserve University (PI)
    • Elizabeth Klein, PhD, MPH, associate professor in the Division of Health Behavior & Health Promotion at the OSU-College of Public Health (PI) 
    • Amanda Quisenberry, PhD, assistant professor of oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (PI)
    • Abigail Shoben, PhD, associate professor in the Division of Biostatistics at the OSU-College of Public Health (Co-PI)
    • Kymberle Sterling, DrPH, serves as a consultant on the study


      • Sarah Koopman Gonzalez, PhD, Research Scientist
      • Catherine Osborn, MA, Project Manager
      • Manpreet Kaur, MA, Graduate Assistant


Findings will be of interest to public health officials, tobacco researchers, and the general public. We hope to present our findings at local meetings as well as professional conferences in addition to creating data briefs and publishing in scientific journals.

What's Next?

Project findings will be used to inform federal priorities and tobacco regulation policies to understand how product standards, namely flavors, contribute to the use and purchasing of tobacco products.

For more information about this project, please contact Catherine Osborn