PhotoAlthough cigarette commercials have been banned from radio and television for more than 40 years, a lot of money is still being spent to advertise tobacco products. But not as much as there used to be. 

In fact, the amount of money spent on cigarette advertising and promotion by the largest U.S. cigarette companies declined from $9.94 billion in 2008 to $8.53 billion in 2009, and again to $8.05 billion in 2010, according to a report released by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). 

The FTC has issued the Cigarette Report periodically since 1967, and another one, the Smokeless Tobacco Report, periodically since 1987. 

Ad, promotion spending drop 

The largest spending category in the Cigarette Report in both 2009 and 2010 was spending on price discounts paid to cigarette retailers or wholesalers in order to reduce the price of cigarettes to consumers. 

This category accounted for $6.67 billion, or 78.2 percent of total spending on advertising and promotion in 2009, and $6.49 billion, or 80.7 percent of that total, in 2010. 

The number of cigarettes sold or given away to wholesalers and retailers in the United States declined from 322.6 billion in 2008 to 290.3 billion in 2009, and to 282.0 billion in 2010. 

Smokeless spending drops 

According to the Smokeless Tobacco Report for the major manufacturers of smokeless tobacco products in the United States: 

  • Their spending on advertising and promotion fell from $547.87 million in 2008 to $492.10 million in 2009, and again to $444.20 million in 2010.
  • The dollar value of sales by these manufacturers fell from $2.76 billion in 2008 to $2.61 billion in 2009, then rose to $2.78 billion in 2010.
  • The weight of smokeless tobacco sold fell from 119.90 million pounds in 2008 to 117.70 million pounds in 2009, and rose to 120.50 million pounds in 2010. 

The full Cigarette Report is available here and the Smokeless Tobacco Report can be found here.


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