FTC Releases Reports on Cigarette and Smokeless Tobacco Sales and Marketing Expenditures for 2018

Cigarette sales declined from 2017 levels

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The number of cigarettes that the largest cigarette companies in the United States sold to wholesalers and retailers nationwide declined from 229.1 billion in 2017 to 216.9 billion in 2018, according to the most recent Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report.

The amount spent on cigarette advertising and promotion decreased from $8.64 billion in 2017 to $8.40 billion in 2018. Price discounts paid to cigarette retailers ($6.15 billion) and wholesalers ($1.05 billion) were the two largest expenditure categories in 2018. Combined spending on price discounts decreased from $7.38 billion in 2017 to $7.21 billion in 2018, accounting for 85.8 percent of industry spending.

According to the 2018 Smokeless Tobacco Report, smokeless tobacco sales decreased from 130.9 million pounds in 2017 to 128.4 million pounds in 2018. The revenue from those sales rose, from $4.20 billion in 2017 to $4.37 billion in 2018.

Spending on advertising and promotion by the major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products in the U.S. decreased from $718.3 million in 2017 to $658.5 million in 2018. As with cigarettes, price discounts made up the two largest spending categories, with $312.2 million paid to retailers and $101.1 million paid to wholesalers. Combined spending on price discounts totaled $413.2 million—or 62.8 percent of all spending in 2018, down from the $438.5 million spent in 2017.

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 5-0. (The staff contact is Michael Ostheimer, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2699.)

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2161