Tobacco Brand Preferences


Many Cigarettes

Cigarette lines

Most cigarettes sold in the United States in 2009:

  • 95% were filtered,
  • 19% were menthol cigarette brands,
  • 90% were either “light” or “ultra-light” cigarette brands.

Cigarettes that contain less than 15 mg of tar by machine testing carried out by the Federal Trade Commission were usually named “light” or “ultra-light.” Nevertheless, since June 22, 2010, cigarette companies are no longer allowed to place terms like “light,” “low,” and “mild” on tobacco products, as outlined by provisions involved in the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act.

Based on 2009 sales records, Marlboro is the most preferred cigarette brand in the US, with sales higher than the five major rivals combined.

Brand Market %
Marlboro 39.9%
Newport 9.9%
Camel 6.4%
Pall Mall Box 5.7%
Winston 2.8%
Doral 2.6%

Marlboro, Newport, and Camel being the three most intensively promoted cigarette brands continue to be the most popular cigarette brands used by students in middle and high school.

Menthol Brands

Use of menthol brands differs broadly by race and ethnicity.

Here is percentage of 12-years-old smokers who claimed smoking menthol cigarette brands in 2009:

  • 81% of African-American
  • 23% of American Indian/Alaska Native
  • 30% of Asian American
  • 31% of Hispanic
  • 22% of White


Cigars Ashtray

Cigars and one cigar in an ashtray

In 2009, the three best-selling cigar brands were:

  • Black & Mild represented 13% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos,
  • Swisher Sweets showed 17% of the U.S. market share of large cigars and cigarillos),
  • Swisher Little saw 32% of the U.S. market share of little cigars.

Smokeless Tobacco

Skoal Tobacco

Smokeless tobacco Skoal

In 2009, the two top-selling smokeless tobacco brands were:

  • Skoal determined 25% of the U.S. market share,
  • Copenhagen was with 23% of the market share.
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