While cigarette consumption in the U.S. is decreasing, part of the drop is being offset by increases in consumption of loose tobacco and cigars, the Los Angeles Times reports. Cost is a major factor in the product shift, with loose tobacco and cigars generally less expensive than cigarettes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette consumption dropped 2.5% from 2010 to 2011, though the overall decrease in tobacco consumption was just 0.8%, while smokers shifted to other tobacco products.
According to the CDC, part of the reason for the shift is because of a 2009 increase in the federal tobacco excise tax on cigarettes. Additionally, regulations regarding menthol and other additives are less stringent for non-cigarette products than for cigarettes.
From 2000 to 2011, overall tobacco consumption dropped 27.5%. The proportion of non-cigarette combustible tobacco products increased from 3.4% to 10.4%, with pipe tobacco and large cigars registering the largest increases (482% and 233%, respectively). (NACS: www.nacsonline.com)