That drop in cigarette smoking? Doesn't matter, says the Centers for Disease Control -- cigars, pipes etc. "offset" it.
The drop in cigarette smoking across America in recent years is plain -- CDC admitted as much last year: "From 2005 to 2010, the proportion of smokers declined from 20.9% to 19.3%," they reported in the September 9, 2011 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly, "representing approximately 3 million fewer smokers in 2010 than would have existed had prevalence not declined since 2005."
Good news, right? But apparently other kinds of smokers have been picking up the slack.
"Sharp increases in total adult consumption of pipe tobacco (used for roll-your-own cigarettes) and cigarette-like cigars since 2008 have offset declines in total cigarette consumption," according to a new CDC report.
This newer report's cigarette use estimate is even brighter than last year's: From 2000 to 2011, "total cigarette consumption declined from 435.6 billion to 292.8 billion, a 32.8% decrease," they say -- but "total consumption of noncigarette combustible products increased from 15.2 billion cigarette equivalents in 2000 to 33.8 billion in 2011, a 123.1% increase."
They conclude that "certain cigarette smokers have switched to using lower-taxed noncigarette combustible products." Then they start talking about taxes. The CDC's analysis tells them that the tobacco industry has shifted marketing and production to these non-cig products to "minimize federal excise tax and thus reduce these tobacco products' prices compared with cigarettes."
So you can imagine what the legislative response to this will be.