Maryland's Tobacco Resource Center - Linking Professionals to Best Practices

DHMH's Kickoff Meeting to Raise Awareness of the Dangers of Youth Cigar Use


On December 7, 2011, MDQuit hosted an event to launch a new statewide educational media campaign from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH).  The campaign – The Cigar Trap – aims at increasing awareness among parents, decision-makers and community stakeholders about the prevalence and danger of youth cigar use.  The ice cream truck image and tag line, “No matter how they sugarcoat it. . . cigars kill,” illustrates that although cigarillos and little cigars are cheap and come in seemingly harmless fruit and candy flavors, cigars are addictive and as toxic as cigarettes.  The State of Maryland wants to prevent youth from falling into a lifelong trap of addiction after trying these appealing products.

According to the Maryland Youth Tobacco Surveys, between 2000 and 2010, cigarette smoking decreased by nearly 40 percent among Maryland high school students, but cigar use jumped more than 11 percent.  Additionally, the most recent estimates (2010) indicate that youth are now smoking cigarettes and cigars at comparable rates, suggesting that youth are shifting to cigars.  For more information on the Maryland Youth Tobacco Surveys, please visit (

The media campaign launched on December 19, 2011 and will extend through January 15, 2012.  Radio ads, transit ads, billboard ads will all be placed.  A toolkit, a new website –, and Facebook page (, please visit and ‘like us’ on facebook) were created to complement the paid media. These components will provide additional resources to users who want to educate their communities about the dangers of youth cigar use. 

We would like to thank all of the presenters and attendees who participated in the launch of this exciting new media campaign.  A special thanks to Dr. Donald Shell, Interim Director of the Center for Health Promotion, Education, & Tobacco Use Prevention for his opening and closing remarks. 

Presenter Contact Information and Presentation Slides
(click title of presentation to download slides)


Morning Session:

Opening Remarks
Dr. Donald Shell, Interim Director, Center for Health Promotion, Education, Tobacco Use Prevention and Cessation, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Overview of Cigar Use among Maryland Youth. Data from the Maryland Youth Tobacco Survey (Clicker Presentation).
Dr. Carlo DiClemente, Director of MDQuit Resource Center

Legacy’s Study on Cigar Use
Ms. Kristen Tertzakian, Senior Manager, Technical Assistance and Training,
American Legacy Foundation, (currently known as Truth Inititiave)

Update and Refresher on FDA’s regulation of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
Ms. Kathleen Dachille, Director of the Legal Resource Center, UM,B School of Law


Panel: Evidence-Based Solutions to Addressing Youth Cigar Use

Ms. Rita Turner, J.D., Deputy Director of the Legal Resource Center, UM,B School of Law
presentation slides

Ms. Ann Boonn, Research Manager, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
presentation slides

Ms. Marlene Trestman, J.D., State of Maryland Special Assistant to the Attorney General
presentation slides

Launch of Media Campaign
Ms. Dawn Berkowitz, MPH, CHES
Chief, Division of Federal and Special Tobacco Control Initiatives/CDC Program Manager

What Locals Can Do
Ms. Kathleen Dachille, Director of the Legal Resource Center, UM,B School of Law