Narrator: This is Science Today. Federal
regulators have recently asked Congress to mandate
new health warnings on cigar boxes and advertisements
to dispel notions that cigars are safer than cigarettes.
Lisa Bero, a health policy expert at the University
of California, San Francisco, has studied the cigar
trend and says it definitely shot up within the
last six years.
Bero: It was actually very, very high in
the 1920s. We have data that go way, way back looking
at cigar sales and it went to an all-time low in
about the Sixties or Seventies and then it's been
coming back up. But what's interesting is we're
looking at a ten-year period from '86 to '97 and
in about the last six years, cigar smoking has doubled.
Narrator: While health warnings on cigars
boxes could help deter smokers, Bero says public
health interventions have to go farther than that.
Bero: We have to define the messages first,
figure out what they are, what's working, what's
reaching people, what's not. What's motivating people
to continue to give this attention to cigars and
then we can try to develop ways to counter that.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.