According to foreign reports, cigarette sales in the United States have increased in 2020 for the first time in 20 years. This is the conclusion of a new report released by the US Federal Trade Commission yesterday.
Americans bought 203.7 billion cigarettes (about 10.2 billion packs) last year – an increase of 800 million cigarettes, or 0.4%. For each of the approximately 30 million smokers, the average smokes about 300 packs a year, or less than one pack per person per day.
The mainstream news media take the coronavirus pandemic as the main reason for the increase, but the more likely reason is the decline of the U.S. e-cigarette market in recent years. There are many factors leading to the decline of e-cigarettes:
During the widespread e-cigarette moral panic after 2017, the spread of e-cigarette error information and false information;
The fear caused by the outbreak of evali lung injury in 2019 was mistaken for nicotine atomization;
A statewide ban on e-cigarettes was implemented in 2019 and 2020;
The federal tobacco 21 act;
FDA guidelines prohibit the sale of flavored e-cigarettes based on cigarette cartridges and cigarette cartridges;
Many states levy taxes on e-cigarettes and e-cigarette oil;
E-cigarette business is closed due to sales loss and uncertainty of FDA regulations;
Many of these factors have led to rising prices and a reduction in the supply of e-cigarettes. Economists have shown that cigarettes and e-cigarettes are economic substitutes, which means that a rise in the price of one kind will lead to an increase in the sales of another.
E-cigarette flavor ban may have a similar impact. A paper published earlier this year showed that the number of high school smokers increased after the ban on flavored e-cigarettes came into effect in San Francisco in 2019.