Cigarette Smoking Hits an All-Time Low

Business, Lifestyle
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cigarette usage in the US dropped to a new all-time low in 2020. According to a survey reported by NBC News, only 1 in 8 American adults claimed that they were current smokers, with only 19% percent of Americans using at least one tobacco product in 2020. This is a significant drop from the reported 21% of users in 2019. Moreover, the report presented that the use of traditional tobacco cigarettes dropped to 12.5%, while e-cigarette usage also dropped to 3.7%.

Factors Leading to the Decline of Cigarette Smoking

Experts believe that the decline in cigarette smoking can be attributed to certain lifestyle changes for the average American in the past few years and relentless public health campaigns and policies established by government health agencies. Another reason why cigarette smoking is decreasing in popularity is something we discussed in our previous post on ‘Investigating Tobacco and Human Rights’. In the article we talked about how experts have been recommending the strict implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to reduce tobacco use in communities for some years now. And we’re now seeing its effect. Following the treaty’s guidelines, a CDC post showed that the statewide tobacco interventions were some of the most significant reasons why people are quitting cigarette smoking.

Additionally, the CDC revealed that the price and tax increase on tobacco products have successfully reduced the demand for tobacco. This resulted in users reducing their tobacco consumption, quitting smoking, and preventing the youth from accessing tobacco products. The CDC also claims that increasing the unit price of tobacco by 20% would reduce overall consumption of tobacco products by 10.4%, the prevalence of adult tobacco use by 3.6%, and initiation of tobacco use by young people by 8.6%.

They also indicated that deploying mass-reach anti-tobacco communications campaigns is associated with lower tobacco use, increased cessation, and the use of available cessation services. This is evident in the 2012-2018 campaign Tips From Former Smokers campaign which led to more than 16.4 million American smokers attempting to quit and to approximately 1 million successfully quitting.

The Increasing Popularity of Tobacco-Free Alternatives

Due to the increasing tobacco prices and massive tobacco prevention campaigns, people are now more open to quitting smoking. Moreover, the availability and newfound popularity of smokeless and tobacco-free alternatives, such as nicotine pouches, patches, and gums, gives consumers new options.

According to a Rutgers research study, tobacco-free products with nicotine content are becoming popular among younger smokers and those trying to quit. Nearly 6% of adult smokers had tried nicotine pouches, and 17% were interested in trying them soon. These products are also more likely to appeal to smokers aged between 18 to 44 years old.

Leading online retailer Prilla demonstrates that nicotine pouches are becoming very popular products because they come in many different types and flavors. Premium brands such as Zyn and On! come in various flavors like sharp mint, soothing cinnamon, and biting citrus. Nicotine pouches are also easy to use and dispose of. They come in individually wrapped packages, so you can take out a piece and place it underneath your top lip. Lastly, unlike most tobacco products, nicotine pouches are always 100% smoke-free, stain-free, and drip-free.

Aside from nicotine pouches, other tobacco-free products include nicotine gums and nicotine patches. What sets them apart is the method of how they are used or consumed. For example, nicotine gums like the ones produced by Nicorette are consumed orally by chewing the gum slowly to release nicotine. The chewing gum steadily releases nicotine absorbed by your mouth and doesn’t release as much nicotine as cigarettes. Similar to nicotine pouches, they come in different flavors. Lastly, nicotine patches are like adhesive bandages, which are placed on your arms, chests, or shoulders. They release controlled dosages of nicotine absorbed by your skin.

As American consumers become aware of the health risks involved with smoking tobacco, they are more likely to switch to other alternatives. This shows the potential of nicotine products, such as pouches and gums, in the market.

For the latest insights and news on current events, check out our posts on USA Business Radio.

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