The number of cigarettes that the largest cigarette companies in the United States sold to wholesalers and retailers nationwide decreased from 203.7 billion in 2020 to 190.2 billion in 2021, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s most recent Cigarette Report. The report also states that in 2021, menthol flavored cigarettes comprised 37 percent of the market among major manufacturers, more than double the 16 percent market share they held in 1963.
The amount spent on cigarette advertising and promotion increased from $7.84 billion in 2020 to $8.06 billion in 2021. Price discounts paid to cigarette retailers ($6.01 billion) and wholesalers ($917 million) were the two largest expenditure categories in 2021. Combined spending on price discounts accounted for 86 percent of industry spending.
According to the Smokeless Tobacco Report, smokeless tobacco sales decreased from 126.8 million pounds in 2020 to 122 million pounds in 2021. The revenue from those sales rose from $4.82 billion in 2020 to $4.96 billion in 2021. Menthol flavored smokeless tobacco products comprised more than half of all sales and fruit flavored smokeless tobacco products comprised 2.7 percent.
Spending on advertising and promotion by the major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. increased from $567.3 million in 2020 to $575.5 million in 2021. As with cigarettes, price discounts made up the two largest spending categories, with $308.2 million paid to retailers and $81.3 million paid to wholesalers in 2021. Combined spending on price discounts represented 67.7 percent of all industry spending.
Smokeless tobacco manufacturers also reported selling $804.8 million of nicotine lozenges or nicotine pouches in 2021, not containing tobacco, up from $422.7 million in 2020.
The Commission has issued the Cigarette Report periodically since 1967 and the Smokeless Tobacco Report periodically since 1987. The Commission vote to issue the reports was 4-0.
The primary staffer on the reports is Michael Ostheimer in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.