Cigarette sales down 6½%

The number of cigarettes that the largest cigarette companies in the United States sold to wholesalers and retailers nationwide declined from 216.9 billion in 2018 to 202.9 billion in 2019, according to the most recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Cigarette Report.

The amount spent on cigarette advertising and promotion decreased from $8.40 billion in 2018 to $7.62 billion in 2019. Price discounts paid to cigarette retailers ($5.70 billion) and wholesalers ($917.4 million) were the two largest expenditure categories in 2019.

Combined spending on price discounts decreased from $7.21 billion in 2018 to $6.61 billion in 2019, accounting for 86.7 percent of industry spending.

According to the 2019 Smokeless Tobacco Report, smokeless tobacco sales decreased from 128.4 million pounds in 2018 to 126.0 million pounds in 2019. The revenue from those sales rose, from $4.37 billion in 2018 to $4.53 billion in 2019.

Spending on advertising and promotion by the major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. decreased from $658.5 million in 2018 to $576.1 million in 2019.

As with cigarettes, price discounts made up the two largest spending categories, with $285.6 million paid to retailers and $90.4 million paid to wholesalers.

Combined spending on price discounts totaled $376.0 million – or 65.3 percent of all spending in 2019, down from the $413.2 million spent in 2018.

The FTC has issued the Cigarette Report periodically since 1967 and the Smokeless Tobacco Report periodically since 1987.

The FTC vote to issue the reports was 4-0. (The staff contact is Michael Ostheimer, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2699.)

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