Tob Control 21:509-510 doi:10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2011-050108
  • Brief report

Cigarette sales in pharmacies in the USA (2005–2009)

  1. Gregory N Connolly
  1. Center for Global Tobacco Control, Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to Andrew Seidenberg, Center for Global Tobacco Control, 677 Huntington Avenue, Landmark Center, 3rd Floor East, Boston, MA 02115, USA; aseidenb{at}
  1. Contributors AS and IB conceptualised the study and wrote the first draft; IB performed all data analysis; and VR and GC revised the paper critically for important intellectual content.

  • Received 27 June 2011
  • Accepted 24 August 2011
  • Published Online First 27 September 2011


Background Several US jurisdictions have adopted policies prohibiting pharmacies from selling tobacco products. Little is known about how pharmacies contribute to total cigarette sales.

Methods Pharmacy and total cigarette sales in the USA were tabulated from AC Nielsen and Euromonitor, respectively, for the years 2005–2009. Linear regression was used to characterise trends over time, with observed trends extrapolated to 2020.

Results Between 2005 and 2009, pharmacy cigarette sales increased 22.72% (p=0.004), while total cigarette sales decreased 17.43% (p=0.015). In 2005, pharmacy cigarette sales represented 3.05% of total cigarette sales, increasing to 4.54% by 2009. Extrapolation of these findings resulted in estimated pharmacy cigarette sales of 14.59% of total US cigarette sales by 2020.

Conclusions Cigarette sales in American pharmacies have risen in recent years, while cigarette sales nationally have declined. If current trends continue, pharmacy cigarette market share will, by 2020, increase to more than four times the 2005 share.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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