Tobacco Brand Preferences
Of all the cigarettes sold in the United States in 2006—
- 99% were filtered,
- 20% were mentholated brands, and
- 93% were either "light" or "ultra-light" brands.1
NOTE: Cigarettes that yield approximately less than 15 mg of tar by machine testing conducted by the Federal Trade Commission were generally labeled "light" or "ultra-light."2 However, as of June 22, 2010, tobacco manufacturers are no longer permitted to use terms like "light," "low," and "mild" on tobacco products, according to provisions included in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.3
Market Share Information
- According to 2009 sales data, Marlboro is the most popular cigarette brand in the United States, with sales greater than the five leading competitors combined.4
NOTE: Market share—or market %—is defined as the percentage of total sales in the United States.
|Pall Mall Box||5.7%|
- The three most heavily advertised brands—Marlboro, Newport, and Camel—continue to be the preferred brands of cigarettes smoked by established student smokers in middle and high school.5
Use of mentholated brands varies widely by race and ethnicity.
Percentage of smokers aged 12 years or older who reported using mentholated brands (2004–2008):6
- 82.6% of African-American
- 24.8% of American Indian/Alaska Native
- 31.2% of Asian American
- 32.3% of Hispanic
- 23.8% of White
Other Tobacco Products
In 2009, the three leading brands of cigars were—
- Black & Mild (with 13% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos),
- Swisher Sweets (with 17% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos), and
- Swisher Little (with 32% of the U.S. market share of little cigars).7
In 2009, the two leading brands of smokeless tobacco were—
- Skoal (with 25% of the U.S. market share) and,
- Copenhagen (with 23% of the market share)8
- Federal Trade Commission. Cigarette Report for 2006 . Washington: Federal Trade Commission, 2007[accessed 2011 Mar 11].
- 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 2011 Mar 11].
- 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 2011 Mar 11].
- Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report: Year End & Fourth Quarter 2009 Sales Estimates for the Cigarette Industry. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2010 [cited 2011 Mar 11].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette Brand Preference Among Middle and High School Students Who Are Established Smokers—United States, 2004 and 2006. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2009;58(5):112–5 [accessed 2011 Mar 11].
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The NSDUH Report: Use of Menthol Cigarettes . Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, 2009 [accessed 2011 Mar 11].
- Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report: Cigar Industry in 2009. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2010 [cited 2011 Mar 11].
- Maxwell JC. The Maxwell Report: The Smokeless Tobacco Industry in 2009. Richmond (VA): John C. Maxwell, Jr., 2010 [cited 2011 Mar 11].
For Further Information
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Office on Smoking and Health
Media Inquiries: Contact CDC's Office on Smoking and Health press line at 770-488-5493.
File Formats: All viewers, players, and plug-ins used on this site can be downloaded from the file formats page. (For example: Adobe Acrobat Reader for pdf files, Windows Media Player for audio and video files, PowerPoint Viewer for presentation slides, etc.)
Get email updates
To receive email updates about Smoking & Tobacco Use, enter your email address:
- CDC/Office on Smoking and Health
4770 Buford Highway
Atlanta, Georgia 30341-3717
TTY: (888) 232-6348