Straw Cigarette Branding: Misleading Descriptors and a New Marlboro Man
Straw cigarettes are a common tobacco product from Brazil that features tobacco hand-rolled in a corn husk that resembles straw. The use of natural materials and the fact that they are rolled by hand have led some people to believe they are less harmful than cigarettes. Studies, however, have found that straw cigarette smoke causes damage similar to cigarettes.
In recent years, the appeal of straw cigarettes appears to have been extended beyond its traditionally rural audience as young people in urban areas increased their use of the product.
Given the importance of packaging as a marketing tool, we assessed the marketing appeals of straw cigarette packaging in Brazil.
In the years 2013, 2016 and 2019, in three Brazilian cities (São Paulo, Salvador and Manaus), we collected packs of industrialized cigarettes and straw cigarettes that had some different characteristic in their packaging, such as, for example, size and color.