Nicotine Volumes Pressured as Fewer People Work From Home

Declines contrast last year’s spike amid coronavirus pandemic
Smashed cigarette
Photograph: Shutterstock

NEW YORK —Nicotine volumes are pressured as totals lap last year’s COVID-19-related volatility and reflect lower use occasions as fewer people work from home, according to a Goldman Sachs report.

Total nicotine volume was down 10% year-over-year for the two weeks ending on July 3, the New York-based investment banking company’s Managing Director Bonnie Herzog said. On a two-year stack basis, or the sum of the last two years of growth rates, total nicotine volumes were also down—just under 10%.

This is a contrast from last year when tobacco usage occasions were up as many adults worked from home amid the pandemic.

Another highlight from the start of July is e-cigarette volume growth was moderating slightly, supported by promotional activity, Herzog said. Vuse, from Winston-Salem, N.C.-based R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., continues to outperform, up 89% for the two weeks ending on July 3, she said.

Cigarette category volumes decelerated on a tough comparison, reflecting COVID-19 volatility, Herzog said. Dollar sales were down 4.7% for the two weeks ending on July 3 and volumes were down nearly 12%.

Oral nicotine remains strong, she said, up 0.6% in dollar sales and down about 4% in volumes. The category continues to take most of its share from traditional smokeless, but people are also buying it along with products from other nicotine categories, Herzog said. 

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