Consumption of cigarettes
Global consumption of cigarettes has increased rapidly since 1900. In 1920, 300 billion cigarettes were consumed, and in 2009, cigarette consumption had reached 5.88 billion units. The Western Pacific region consumes about half of the world’s cigarettes, while about 11 percent is consumed in the Americas. However, there has been a significant decrease in per capita cigarette consumption in the United States. At its peak, per capita consumption totaled 4,171 cigarettes in 1960. Figures have since decreased to 1,078 cigarettes per capita in 2015. More recently, due to declines in tobacco sales, companies are beginning to merge. In 2014, Reynolds American reported its purchase of Lorillard Inc., one of the largest tobacco companies in the United States, for 27.4 billion U.S. dollars.
Smoking-related costs can be astronomical. In 2014, lost productivity due to smoking cost the United States 156 billion U.S. dollars and 170 billion U.S. dollars in direct medical care. Smoking can lead to health effects such as some types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory health issues. The United States government has increased legislation and regulations on the tobacco industry and its products. In 2009, a 1.01 U.S. dollar tax per pack was implemented and was reported to cause 1 million smokers to quit and prevent 2 million others from starting the habit. In 2000, 23.2 percent of the U.S. population were cigarette smokers, however, this number had decreased to 16.8 percent in 2014.