U.S. sales of tobacco products edged up 0.4 percent last year, the first annual increase in two decades, according to a report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.
Americans stuck at home with little to do and few opportunities to travel or socialize smoked more, CEO Billy Gifford of cigarette-maker Altria Group, formerly Philip Morris, said to The Wall Street Journal.
Tobacco companies took advantage of the opportunity, upping their investments in marketing from $7.62 billion in 2019 to $7.84 billion in 2020.
Alcohol sales also rose last year, especially among costlier brands and varieties, the WSJ reported.
TRENDPOST: While the COVID virus sickened millions, the COVID War took its own toll on people’s health.
Locked in their homes, people craved comfort and relief and indulged in familiar distractions—cigarettes, beer, liquor, television, and junk food.
Pepsi sales shot up during the shutdown and the company couldn’t keep up with demand for its “Cheetos Mac and Cheese” food-like product (“PepsiCo is in the Chips,” 6 Oct 2020); McDonald’s store sales are up more than 13 percent since March 2020 (“McDonald’s Sales Going Higher,” 4 May 2021).
The longer politicians insist on measures that keep people away from their normal pursuits, the greater the non-COVID toll on public health (“COVID War = Eat More Crap,” 25 Feb 2021).
And, as continually report in The Trends Journal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 80 percent of the people that have been hospitalized with COVID-19 are either obese or overweight. Thus, with weights rising and physical conditions declining, there are more health crises on the near horizon.