E-Cigarettes Blamed for First Quarter Decline in Tobacco Sales

In a March report from Morgan Stanley research analysts, it was noted that tobacco cigarettes sales had declined by 4.5 percent compared to projections for 2013*. This is a pretty major success for the American public, but what has caused such a drastic reduction in the use of tobacco?

There are several reasons that have been brought up in speculation. First, the FDA ran a massive ad campaign through the national media to push for smokers to quit the habit once and for all. Could this advertising push have been so effective that it caused such a high number of smokers to put down their cigarettes? Considering how many other widespread campaigns they have used in the past, it’s probably not likely that a single new advertising push is to blame for the major decline in tobacco sales.

Some say the ad campaign couldn’t have been that successful so quickly, but perhaps the decline could be attributed to more smoke-free workplaces and new policies that began in early 2013. Others blame the decline on increased taxes on tobacco. But what is the real reason for a 4.5 percent decrease in cigarette sales in the first quarter?

The Morgan Stanley research team said that none of the above reasons was the main contributing factor. Instead, they blamed the decline of tobacco cigarette sales on the massive growth of electronic cigarettes.

Interestingly, this huge health accomplishment among American smokers has not been celebrated publicly. Because the FDA isn’t behind the vast success, they seem to be quietly ignoring the situation. It seems almost ironic that the electronic cigarettes that the FDA worked so hard to ban are the one successful alternative that many smokers have chosen as a way to stop using tobacco.

Despite the naysayers that have repeatedly opposed electronic cigarettes, the proof is coming forward each day as more smokers put away their old tobacco cigarettes and pick up e-cigs.

* Source: Adelman DJ, Grainger M, Ayala V, Paxton K. Tobacco: New Years’ Resolutions + E-Cigs = Weaker Volumes? New York: Morgan Stanley Research North America, March 7, 2013

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Author Focus: Katie Bercham
Katie actually had a negative first experience of electronic cigarettes, picking up a cheap and horrible model from my local mall. Thanks to a chance meeting with co-editor David, she hasn’t had a tobacco cigarette in over 2 years. She brings a strong female voice to the e-cig community... Read Full Profile >