Cigarette consumption has gone down since 2008, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But other tobacco use has gone up.
That includes use of pipe tobacco for roll-you-own cigarettes and cigarette-like cigars, the agency says. And that is putting a crimp in a dramatic 11-year decline in smoking.
Cigarette use dropped 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011 alone, the CDC said. But pipe tobacco is up 482 percent in the same time frame and large cigars are up 233 percent. Officials say the cigar uptick was largely because manufacturers are adding weight to small cigars to avoid some regulations and taxes placed on the smaller versions.
Overall consumption of tobacco is still down by 27.5 percent between 2000 and 2011, but it dropped off to .8 percent in the last year as non-cigarette smoked tobacco use shop up 123 percent.
“The rise in cigar smoking, which other studies show is a growing problem among youth and young adults, is cause for alarm,” said Tim McAfee, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, in a statement. “The Surgeon General’s Report released this past March shows that getting young people to either quit smoking or never start smoking is the key to ending the tobacco epidemic, because 99 percent of all smokers start before they’re 26 years old.”
The CDC used Treasury Department statistics to calculate consumption for its report “Consumption of Cigarettes and Combustible Tobacco—United States, 2000-2011.” Officials said the disparities could be explained by the difference in taxes. Cigarettes have much higher levies, though a the price difference may be leveled soon through new legislation.The CDC says tobacco is the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease.