The Evolution of Cigar Quality for Women Smokers

The lack of exposure to sophisticated packaging and the limited experience and knowledge about cigars meant that younger casual smokers of these products had a limited capacity to discuss their perceptions of cigar quality markers. To gain a better understanding of this, a mixed qualitative and quantitative research methodology was employed to collect quantitative data from a substantial sample of cigar and cigarette smokers, complemented by an in-depth view of the thoughts, perceptions and behaviors of cigar and cigarette smokers based on qualitative interviews and focus groups. For many years, the attitudes surrounding female smokers were largely in the hands of male smokers and continued well into the 20th century. Less frequent smokers of premium cigars reportedly considered smoking cigars to be an occasional pleasure associated with certain social occasions or celebrations.

These participants reported that they had made changes to the way they stored their cigars since the implementation of simple packaging, that is, those with a humidifier decanted the individual cigars in the humidor instead of in the entire box. Cigars and cigarettes have always been considered less harmful and different from cigarettes, all of which is consistent with the way cigars have been positioned. As time went on, more and more women started smoking cigars; however, in places like the United Kingdom and the United States, where smoking cigars was not conventional, those who chose to smoke were seen as feminists and rebels. Many of the smokers in this sample had limited knowledge of how to determine the quality of cigars compared to regular smokers of premium cigars.

Half of the smokers of premium cigars reported that they had been exposed to normally packaged cigarettes, and the rest were unaware that the legislation applied to cigars. There were also strong indications that simple packaging and greenhouse gases were substantially reducing the perceived distinctions in prestige and attractiveness between cigars and cigarettes for cigar smokers. The three main types of cigars sold in the United States are large cigars, cigars, and small cigars. Other famous female cigar smokers include Beyoncé, the Kardashians, Ciara, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Lopez. Cigar smokers reported strong brand loyalty, with one (32%) or a few (38%) brands preferred, even if they occasionally tried other brands.

Due to the low prevalence of smoking in the population and the diverse demographic composition of the cigar smoking segments in Australia, this research employed a mixed-method design with qualitative and quantitative components to maximize the recruitment and participation of different segments of cigar consumers. Regarding gender (complementary table), cigar consumption declined over time among white men in NH and remained unchanged in white women in NH.