Cigarette Demand Drops Amid Pandemic

Initial stockpiling gives way to decrease in volumes, Nielsen says
Photograph: Shutterstock

NEW YORK — After what was probably initial stockpiling at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, tobacco consumers may have slowed their purchasing, with volumes in traditional cigarettes falling in early  April, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

For the week ending April 4, cigarette volumes fell 8.4% across all channels vs. the same period last year, the news organization reported, citing figures from New York-based Nielsen.

When governors in March began issuing stay-at-home orders, Nielsen reported cigarette volumes rising 1.1% for the week ending March 22.

The decline happened “as consumers likely depleted their previous pantry loading,” said Bonnie Herzog, managing director of Goldman Sachs, New York.

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