Tobacco Companies Combat Falling Sales By Charging Customers More

Thursday, July 21, 2011

BUFFALO, NY — If you’re a smoker, gas prices, food costs and utilities aren’t the only products taking a significant bite out of your household budget. As the percentage of smokers in New York drops (from 18 percent of adults in 2009 to 15.5 percent in 2010), tobacco manufacturers are simply hiking the cost of cigarettes to maintain their profits.

Here’s how the recent price increases break down:

  • R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s wholesale and direct-buy customers are paying nine cents more per pack on Camel, Capri, Doral, GPC, Kool, Misty, Pall Mall, Salem and Winston, among other brands, than they were last month.
  • All Philip Morris USA brands have implemented a nine-cent-per-pack hike.
  • Lorillard Tobacco Co. hiked its wholesale cost of Newport Menthol Tobacco by a nickel, while its Newport brand saw an 11-cent jump. Other Lorillard brands registered an increase of eight cents.

According to K. Michael Cummings, PhD, MPH, Chairman of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center (Roswell Park), “the average pack-a-day smoker is now spending over $2,000 per year to satisfy their nicotine fix.” Ironically, most of the cigarette-company executives don’t even smoke themselves.

We hope that smokers will send a clear message back to cigarette manufacturers that they’ve had enough. New York smokers can call the Smoker’s Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) or visit to save money and lead a healthier life. The Quitline provides free quit-smoking tips, and most smokers qualify for a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches or gum. Call hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

So, why wait? The New York State Smokers’ Quitline is just a call or click away. Isn’t it time you stop letting your hard-earned money go up in smoke?

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, founded in 1898, was one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit Roswell Park’s website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager