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Tobacco Brand Preferences

Cigarettes

Prior to June 22, 2010, manufacturers were permitted to label cigarettes that yielded approximately less than 15 mg of tar by machine testing conducted by the Federal Trade Commission as "light" or "ultra-light."1 However, according to provisions included in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as of June 22, 2010, tobacco manufacturers are no longer permitted to use terms like "light," "low," and "mild" on tobacco products.2

 

Quick Stats

Of all the cigarettes sold in the United States in 2010—3

  • 99.6% were filtered
  • 32% were mentholated brands

 

Market Share Information

  • According to 2012 sales data, Marlboro is the most popular cigarette brand in the United States, with sales greater than the four leading competitors combined.4
BrandMarket %

NOTE: Market share—or market percentage—is defined as the percentage of total sales in the United States.

Marlboro40.3%
Newport11.7%
Camel7.6%
Pall Mall Box7.3%
  • The three most heavily advertised brands—Marlboro, Newport, and Camel—continue to be the preferred brands of cigarettes smoked by young people.5

 

Mentholated Brands

Use of mentholated brands varies widely by race and ethnicity.

Percentage of individuals aged 12 years or older who reported using mentholated brands (2011):6

 

  • 19.1% of Blacks or African Americans
  •   3.6% of Asians
  •   7.8% of Hispanics
  •   6.5% of Whites

 

Other Tobacco Products

Cigars

In 2012, the three leading brands of cigars were—8

  • Black & Mild (with 9.4% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos)
  • Swisher Sweets (with 10.7% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos)
  • Swisher Little (with 52.5% of the U.S. market share of little cigars).

 

Smokeless Tobacco

In 2011, the two leading brands of smokeless tobacco were—7

  • Skoal (with 24% of the U.S. market share)
  • Copenhagen (with 25% of the market share)

References

  1. National Cancer Institute. Risks Associated with Smoking Cigarettes with Low Machine-Measured Yields of Tar and Nicotine. Smoking and Tobacco Control Monograph 13. Bethesda (MD): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 2001 [accessed 2014 January 28].
  2. Food and Drug Administration. Frequently Asked Questions on the Passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Washington: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration; 2009 [accessed 2014 January 28].
  3. Federal Trade Commission. Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2011.
    [PDF–325 KB] Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2013 [accessed 2014 January 28].
  4. The Maxwell Report: First Quarter 2013 Sales and Volume Estimates for the U.S. Cigarette Industry. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2013 [cited 2014 January 28].
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012 [accessed 2014 January 28].
  6. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The NSDUH Report: Recent Trends in Menthol Cigarette Use. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, 2011 [accessed 2014 January 28].
  7. Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report: Cigar Industry in 2012. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2013 [cited 2014 January 28].
  8. Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report: The Smokeless Tobacco Industry in 2011. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2012 [cited 2014 January 28].

For Further Information

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
E-mail: tobaccoinfo@cdc.gov
Phone: 1-800-CDC-INFO

Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.

 
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