The number of cigarette smokers in the United States dropped 33% from 2000 to 2011.  At the same time, there's been an increase of tobacco pipe and cigar smokers - 123% in the same time period.  In addition, so-called pipe tobacco use  has grown 482%.

Cigarette smokers have been on the decline since the 1960's - when the infamous Surgeon General Warning first started appearing on packs of American brands.  A ban on television advertising near the end of the same decade also helped limit awareness of the products and diminished their users.

The U.S. government has also helped curb smokers of their cigarette habit with increased taxes.  Those taxes aren't as significant for cigars and pipe tobacco.

Small cigars that look like cigarettes except for a dark paper label have been reformulated to bypass the tax law that covers cigarettes. "These are available for like $1.40 a pack," he said. Nationwide, a pack of cigarettes averages $5.98, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

These products are also not subject to U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations on flavoring and labeling products "light" or "low tar" as cigarettes are, but are just as "lethal and dangerous as cigarettes,".

Many in the health industry are asking legislators to rethink the tax laws that allow non-cigarette manufacturers to get by with less tax on their products.  Their proposals would "even out" the tax laws for all tobacco products.


Smokers Drop Pricey Cigarettes for Cheaper Alternatives: CDC - US News and World Report.