Sales Resume Historical Drop as U.S. Reopens

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    U.S. demand for combustible cigarettes declined 11.3 percent year over year, resuming their historical rate of decline following a temporary increase during 2020, reports The Winston-Salem Journal, citing the most recent Nielsen survey of convenience stores. The report lists total nicotine volumes down 9.4 percent for the same period.

    In the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. smokers increased their cigarette purchases in response to stay-at-home orders. This year has seen a return to more typical shopping conditions.

    Philip Morris USA traditional cigarette volumes fell 9.5 percent year over year while Reynolds had an overall 9.2 percent decrease and ITG Brands was down 6.3 percent.

    Tobacco manufacturers have been able to offset much of the recent volume declines through a series of per-pack list price increases in recent months.

    For example, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. will increase the list price of certain brands by $0.14 per pack on July 5, according to a report by Goldman Sachs analyst Bonnie Herzog.

    Meanwhile, sales of electronic cigarettes were down 4.9 percent.

    Sales overall have slumped since February 2020 when the Food and Drug Administration implemented its latest round of heightened regulations on the products.

    Those restrictions required manufacturers of cartridge-based e-cigarettes to stop making, distributing and selling “unauthorized flavorings” by Feb. 6 or risk enforcement actions.

    With a share of 49.5 percent, Juul remains market leader, followed by Vuse (33.5 percent), NJoy (4.5 percent) and Blu eCigs (3.1 percent), according to Nielsen.