U.S. sees cigarette sales increase for first time in 20 years

A new report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that nearly a billion more cigarettes were sold in the U.S. in 2020 compared to 2019. This is the U.S.' first year-to-year increase in cigarette sales in two decades. In 2020, 203.7 billion cigarettes were sold in the U.S., compared to 202.9 billion in 2019. The FTC's report looked at sales data from Altria Group (Marlboro), ITG Holdings USA (Winston, KOOL), Reynolds American (Camel, Pall Mall), and Vector Group Ltd. (Pyramid). The increase in sales corresponded with an increase in advertising spending by the companies, as well as the rise of COVID-19 -- though the report does not indicate whether or not the pandemic was a driving force behind the increase.

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