Using Tobacco: One Way or Another

Smoking cessation efforts are working for cigarettes but not other forms of tobacco

(RxWiki News) Cigarette prices jumped and cigarette smoking declined. This did not mean people were using less tobacco products though. Cigar and pipe tobacco sales have skyrocketed.

A new report release by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed a significant drop in cigarette consumption from 2000 to 2011.

A spike in people rolling their own cigarettes or smoking cigars has offset this victory.

"Don't be afraid to ask your doctor for help quitting smoking!"

The Surgeon General and the CDC released recent reports on the rate of tobacco consumption in the U.S. in the last decade.

The CDC report stated that pipe tobacco consumption, also used for roll-your-own cigarettes, increased by 482 percent and cigar consumption increased by 233 percent.

The report did note that cigar manufacturers were stuffing more tobacco into small, cigarette-like cigars to get around the weight requirement for small vs. large cigars.

Small cigars get taxed like cigarettes, whereas large cigars get taxed slightly less. The difference to the naked eye is negligible, but the difference to the price is readily apparent.

So, despite the total tobacco consumption declining by 28 percent from 2000 to 2011, overall consumption of pipe tobacco and cigars is up 123 percent.

Tim McAfee, director of the CDC’s office on Smoking and Health, said, “The rise in cigar smoking, which other studies show is a growing problem among youth and young adults, is cause for alarm.”

“The Surgeon General’s report released this past March shows that getting young people to either quit smoking or never start smoking is the key to ending the tobacco epidemic, because 99 percent of all smokers start before they’re 26 years old.”

The price difference between cigarettes and other forms of smoking tobacco may no longer be an issue. The Transportation and Student Loan Interest Rate Bill, signed into law in July, might make the cigarette tax cover pipe tobacco and cigars as well.

There is no doubt that U.S. health agencies are compiling more accurate data on smoking statistics in America.

Annual healthcare cost estimates, loss of productivity and death rates are alarming enough that regulations on tobacco sales, preventative campaigns and intervention efforts are gaining traction and making a significant impact on tobacco consumption in the U.S.

This report was made available in August on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Funding was provided by U.S. government health agencies, no conflicts of interest were reported.

Review Date: 
August 10, 2012