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Cigarette sales going up for first time since 2002

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Staff writer ▼ | November 9, 2015
A number of factors from a better jobs market to reductions in government anti-smoking programs is driving cigarette sales upwards.
Surprise   Cigarette sales were decreasing since 2002
If current trends hold, 2015 could mark the first year since 2002 that sales volumes increase.

Not even tobacco companies are suggesting the long-term decline in smoking in the U.S. is reversing itself and executives predict annual volumes will keep falling over time. But recent data pointing to a slight increase in pack sales this year nonetheless underscore trends for public health officials.

While the number of smokers in the United States has steadily declined, some smokers now seem to be lighting up more. Others are turning to chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes to supplement cigarette habits rather than quit.

To public-health groups, any signs that the declines in smoking might be leveling off is cause for alarm and renewed anti-smoking efforts.

E-cigarette use has also exploded among teenagers, a development some anti-smoking groups warn could hook a new generation on nicotine.