Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco sales rose last year, according to a report from the Federal Trade Commission.
The federal agency reported that wholesale and retail stores bought 203.7 billion cigarettes from tobacco companies, an increase from202.9 billion in 2019. Last year marks the first time since 2000 that cigarette sales rose.
Smokeless tobacco sales also increased from 126 million pounds in 2019 to 126.9 million pounds in 2020.
According to The Wall Street Journal, some people might have smoked more during the pandemic while they had “fewer social engagements.” There’s no one explanation for the increase, but the tobacco industry also spent more on marketing last year.
The FTC wrote that the increase in sales and tobacco industry marketing are “concerning trends” that are prompting it to expand its approach in reporting shifts in the tobacco industry.
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