October 26, 2021—The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) recently released Cigarette Report1 showed that the number of cigarettes sold increased from 202.9 billion in 2019 to 203.7 billion in 2020. This was the first increase in cigarette sales in 20 years in the United States. Advertising expenditures also increased during the same time period, from $7.624 billion to $7.84 billion, with the largest increase in price discounts for retailers.
A similar report on smokeless tobacco products also was issued by the FTC.2 Manufacturer sales revenues increased from $4.532 billion in 2019 to $4.822 billion in 2020. For the first time, this report included information regarding flavoring of smokeless tobacco products. Menthol flavoring comprised more than half (54.5%) of all sales, followed by no flavoring (43.4%) and fruit flavoring (2.5%).
Although these reports have been produced sporadically in the past—since 1967 for cigarettes and 1987 for smokeless tobacco—the increases in sales for both types of nicotine-containing products show an alarming trend in the United States and will be the focus of expanded FTC study going forward.
- 1. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2020. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/federal-trade-commis…. Accessed November 4, 2021.
- 2. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Smokeless Tobacco Report for 2020. Available at: https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/reports/federal-trade-commis…. Accessed November 4, 2021.