Cigаrette sales increased during the pandemic for the first time in 20 years, according to a recent report by the Federal Trade Commission. Though the report does not specify a reason, the increase in sales may be at least partially driven by people who had previously quit smоking but started again to cope with stress, a primary cause of relapses, during 2020.
To identify the percent change in tobacco sales every year since 2000, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the FTC’s Cigаrette Report for 2020. The report does not include sales of e-cigаrettes.
Americans purchased more cigаrettes last year, though the uptick was small — only a 0.4% increase to 203.7 billion from 202.9 billion in 2019. Between the turn of the century and last year, smоking rates have significantly declined and are about 66% lower than they were just half a century ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The FTC’s report also found that tobacco companies’ spending on advertising and promotions increased from $7.62 billion in 2019 to $7.84 billion last year. Most of the advertising and promotion money was spent on price discounts paid to cigаrette retailers in order to lower the price of cigаrettes to customers.
Smоking is the leading cause of preventable death, according to the CDC. In the U.S. alone, cigаrette smоking contributes to one in five deaths a year, or 1,300 deaths a day. This is exactly what happens to your body once you start smоking.