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by the Euromonitor Editorial Team.
In 2009, World cigarette sales fell for the first time–by 0.2%. Growth in China fails to shore up world sales in the face of massive tax-driven volume fall of 9% in the world’s second-largest volume market, the US.
How can cigarette volumes be so robust when prevalence is falling almost everywhere? Answer: people power. World population growth, particularly in Asia, means that smoking populations rise even where prevalence falls.
Interesting things are coming out of the recession: UK cigarette volumes actually rose in 2009 after a decade of decline because more Brits stayed at home and didn’t buy cigarettes abroad–causing a serious volume fall in Spain. British smokers also started buying bulk cigarette multi-packs from supermarkets to save money, though ended up smoking them, thus propelling sales by default.