The nation’s Attorneys General are trumpeting a new report that shows just over a four-percent decrease in cigarette sales. Bill Roach of the Iowa Attorney General’s office says that’s a great indicator in the effort to cut smoking. He says cigarette sales in the U.S. are down to a 55-year low.
Roach says the report shows a more than 21-percent decline in sales since the tobacco settlement agreement. Roach says a lot of things have worked together to push people away from tobacco. He says that includes tax increases on tobacco and restrictions on second hand smoke, and the advertising campaign funded through the tobacco settlement.
Roach can’t say if Iowa was part of the overall U.S. trend of declining tobacco sales. Roach says these are gross tobacco sales numbers that aren’t broken down by age or state. But he says they do indicate a trend as it is the lowest rate of tobacco sales since 1951, and the population has doubled since 1951.
Roach says it has been decades since tobacco sales were this low. He says on a per-capita basis, cigarette sales are now as low as they would have been in the 1930’s. Roach says even with the decline, 378 billion cigarettes were sold in the U.S. in 2005.