Pandemic surge in cigarette sales over, report says
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Although cigarette sales in the United States edged up for the first time in 20 years during the pandemic, total cigarette industry purchases fell 6.5% in the most recent quarter, per compared to the same period last year, according to a recent report.
The report notes that Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc., which manufactures nearly half of the cigarettes bought in the United States, said the drop was larger than in the first and second quarters of this year.
AMERICANS SMOKED MORE DURING PANDEMIC: STUDY
Earlier this week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Cigarette Report reported a 0.4% increase in cigarette sales from 202.9 billion in 2019 to 203.7 billion cigarettes sold in 2020, but industry experts describe this fueled pandemic as a phenomenon unique to the United States, not the rest of the world.
“Given the worrying trends highlighted in this report, including the first increase in cigarette sales in two decades, the Commission will continue to broaden its approach by signaling changes in the tobacco industry,” the statement said. press release from the FTC.
As the pandemic pushed Americans home, they bought more cigarettes because they spent less on gas, entertainment and travel, the report notes.
During the pandemic, smokers who vaped may have reverted to regular cigarettes due to the ban on flavored products, increased taxes on e-cigarettes, and residual medical issues from the 2019 epidemic due lung injury associated with e-cigarette or vaping use, known as EVALI, according to a recent report.
Erica Sward, assistant vice president of national advocacy for the American Lung Association, told the Washington Post that the increase in sales in 2020 was likely due to the pandemic that forced people who had already quit smoking to restart, often secondary to stress.
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In its 2020 annual stress survey, the American Psychological Association warned in the midst of a pandemic: “We are facing a national mental health crisis that could have serious health and social consequences for years to come.”
The latest quarterly results for total cigarette sales, however, suggest that the economic recovery along with cautious optimism about the pandemic is encouraging more Americans to spend more time and money outdoors and less on cigarettes, according to the report. a recent report.
Smokeless tobacco sales increased from 126.0 million pounds in 2019 to 126.9 million pounds in 2020, with 2019 sales revenues rising from $ 4.53 billion to $ 4.82 billion in 2020 , according to the recent smokeless tobacco report.
The FTC also noted data on tobacco product flavors for the first time, with menthol-flavored smokeless tobacco products accounting for more than half of all sales revenue in 2020.
But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing whether vaping products should stay in the U.S. market, according to a recent report.
“Scientific evidence also indicates that menthol smokers are less likely than menthol non-smokers to successfully quit despite a stronger urge to end their tobacco addiction,” notes the American Lung Association on its website.
After inhaling menthol, smokers have the sensation of breathing more easily as this decreases the irritation of the respiratory tract caused by cigarette smoke, but they offer no health benefits over non-menthol, despite the symptoms. marketing messages indicating otherwise, according to the American Lung Association.
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The Biden administration is working with the FDA to create policies to ban menthol cigarettes, which could potentially decrease more than a third of all cigarettes sold in the United States, according to a recent report.
“Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths each year, or about 1 in 5 deaths,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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