Statewide cigarette purchases decline 8.1%

SACRAMENTO - Californians bought 8.1% fewer cigarettes in 2009-10 than they did a year earlier, according to a new report released Tuesday by the State Board of Equalization.The report notes that cigarette distributions peaked in 1980 and have declined 65.6% over the last 30 years. Since 1980-81, tax-paid cigarette distributions have declined an average of 3.5% per year, or a decline of an average of 59 million packs per year. The report points to health concerns, smoking restrictions and higher prices as key factors in the downward trend. In California, cigarette prices increased sharply, by 18.6%, in 2009-10. The increase is largely due to a federal cigarette tax increase of 62 cents per pack to $1.01 per pack. The increase, coupled with an average manufacturers' price increase of 4.2%, brought the average price of a pack of cigarettes to $5.09 in California, according to the report.

********** Published: July 29, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 15