Cigarette sales have been plummeting in the United States thanks to active campaigns that teach about the dangers of this choice. Added taxes on the product have also helped to drive down sales. Yet despite the information about smoking that is widely available and its cost, there are still people who smoke every day.
In 2011, the tobacco industry spent an average of $24 million per day to advertise their cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products.
Cigarette Sales Statistics
Smoking may be a leading cause of lung cancer and contributor to conditions like COPD, but it is still a choice that people make. Although addictive by nature, people do have a winnable battle against their habit of smoking if they wish to make the attempt. As the sales statistics on cigarettes show, however, three steps forward toward better health sometimes comes with two steps backward.
- More than 293 billion cigarettes were purchased in the United States in 2011.
- 3 companies – Philip Morris USA, Reynolds American Inc., and Lorillard – accounted for 85% of the total amount of cigarettes sold.
- About 125 million pounds of smokeless tobacco were sold in the US in 2011. Two of the three top selling brands of smokeless tobacco are also owned by the top cigarette manufacturers.
- A 10% increase in the price of cigarettes has been estimated to reduce overall cigarette consumption by 3–5%
- The annual estimate economic cost of smoking in the United States alone: $289 billion.
- There is expected to be -6% growth in the US smoking market between 2015-2018.
- More than 500,000 tobacco farms used to be in operation in the United States in the 1950s. Today that figure is around 10,000 farms.
Cigarettes are likely always going to be part of the culture, despite the dangers that they pose to health. What we need to come up with is a plan to counter the health costs that are associated with smoking. With billions being spent because of personal habits that are being picked up by everyone, non-smokers and taxpayers are spending money to deal with smoking every day and that is money that could be going to other places. The same could be said of other habits and poor choices that lead to poor health. In the US, people are told to pull up their bootstraps and take responsibility for what they do. Shouldn’t this be reflected in the choice to smoke too?
What Is The Total Annual Value Of The US Cigarette Market?
- The gross output from the 10k US tobacco farms has a net worth of $14 billion.
- Global cigarette consumption accounts for $6.88 trillion in spending every year.
- The world’s leading nation for cigarette consumption is china, with more than 2.2 trillion cigarettes smoked every year.
- In 2010, tobacco industry’s profit was equivalent to $6,000 for each death caused by tobacco.
- The combined profits of the 6 leading tobacco companies was US $35.1 billion in 2010.
- During 2000–2004, the value of cigarettes sold in the United States averaged $71 billion per year.
- The total estimate value of the global tobacco market today: $675 billion. Cigarettes account for 95% of this value.
- 12%. That’s the percentage of global tobacco volumes that is considered illegal. Tax evasion is the most common cause of illicit tobacco sales.
- E-cigarettes account for $2 billion of annual sales right now and is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2017.
The tobacco industry is making billions even though they are sending billions to state government budgets every year because of lawsuit settlements. The bottom line is this: cigarettes are profitable for companies, even when they are paying for many of the health consequences that happen. Just do the math from a global perspective. If 1 billion people die from smoking in the next century and cigarette companies make $6,000 per person, that is trillions in profits that are going to industry executives instead of helping to increase the standards of living around the world.
How Many People Are Smoking Cigarettes?
- Men [26%] are more likely to use tobacco products at least once per week than women [15%].
- In a look at the age demographics of smoking, it was highest among those aged 25–44 years (25.2%), and lowest among those aged 65 years or older (9.5%).
- 43.8%. That’s the percentage of the US population that smokes when their highest education level is a GED.
- People with a graduate degree are the least likely to smoke at just 6.3%.
- Households with the lowest incomes are 3x more likely to smoke than households with the highest incomes.
- 3 out of 10 LGBTQI adults are smokers in the US, while 2 out of 10 heterosexual adults are smokers.
- The percentage of the total US population that smokes at least occasionally: 18%.
Why do people smoke? For many, there are two key components to the habit of smoking: it helps to relieve stress and it is a social gateway. This is reflective in the statistics above. Those who have lower incomes and usually higher stress because they’re struggling to make ends meet take solace in a cigarette. The same is true for people with lower levels of education, struggling to find a job that pays enough to make ends meet. An interesting question arises: if the US economy could pull people out of poverty with real jobs that pay adequate living wages, as the minimum wage originally was supposed to do, then would there be fewer smokers?
What Are Consequences Of Smoking?
- Smoking and tobacco use are the leading causes of preventable death in the United States every year. 1 in 5 deaths is caused because of smoking.
- 8.6 million. That’s the number of people who have at least one illness that is serious because of their smoking habit.
- The CDC estimates that adult male smokers lose an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lose 14.5 years of life because of smoking.
- In 2013, states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but are spending less than 2% of that on tobacco control programs.
- For the average person, just one cigarette will reduce their expected lifespan by 11 minutes.
- 7 out of 10 smokers say they want to quit the habit completely, yet struggle with their addiction to smoking daily.
- What is illegal about smoking in the US is the purchase of cigarettes. It is not illegal for those who are underage to actually smoke them.
- 50,000. That’s the number of deaths in the US that are as a result of second-hand smoke.
- Avoiding tobacco and alcohol could help to prevent over 30% of the cancers that are diagnosed every year.
- The health damage from a single pack of cigarettes costs $35 to an American smoker.
- If trends continue, 1 billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure during the 21st century.
The problem with smoking cigarettes is that we don’t necessarily see an immediate impact to our health that is negative. We laugh when people have their first cigarette and cough up a lung because of it. Yet every cigarette is bring someone a little closer to their death. Eating fatty foods and drinking alcohol do the same thing, but the problem is that smoking can affect entire groups of people simultaneously Light up a cigarette in a crowded room and everyone exposed to that smoke has a higher risk of developing a health problem. That’s why we need to continue finding a way to reduce the sales of cigarettes as it benefits us all.
The Poor Are Taking On The Burdens of Smoking
- 80% of those who die from tobacco-related illnesses are in low- and middle-income countries.
- 60% of the world’s top tobacco producing countries have malnourishment rates that may reach 27%.
- 39% of the world’s countries provide no supports to help people break their habit of smoking.
- Cigarettes have become an average of 21% more affordable in low- and middle-income countries over the past decade.
- In nations with few resources, the total amount that is spent on tobacco control per person: $0.0001.
Smoking is a personal choice. Some may see it as a right, but don’t people who choose not to smoke also have the right to not be exposed to increased health risks? Regulating the industry and adjusting laws so that people can choose to smoke where they won’t negatively impact the health of others should continue to be trends to focus upon. In doing so, the cigarette industry will still see sales and people will still be able to choose to smoke. As for the costs of smoking – there really isn’t an easy answer besides not starting the habit in the first place.