Feds say drop in cash spent on cigarette promotion

August 1, 2011 9:02:47 AM PDT
The latest federal data shows the nation's top tobacco companies are spending less money on cigarette advertising and promotion and more money on promoting smokeless tobacco products. Numbers from the Federal Trade Commission show cigarette marketing decreased more than 34 percent to $9.94 billion in 2008, the latest year available, compared with 2003.

Meanwhile, cigarette sales decreased 11 percent to 320 billion cigarettes in the same period.

In contrast, money spent on marketing smokeless tobacco products more than doubled to $547.9 million in 2008 versus 2003 as sales increased nearly 11 percent.

The data mirrors an industry trend as tobacco companies look to cigarette alternatives for future sales growth as tax hikes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.