US: Tobacconists Thrive on Declining Market
In a story for Bloomberg Businessweek, Patrick Clark poses an interesting question: Why are specialist tobacconists thriving in the US when the market for their products is shrinking?
Smoking in the country has been declining for decades, Clark points out, but retailers specializing in tobacco sales are booming.
The number of tobacco shops in the US apparently doubled between 1998 and 2012, to more than 9,000, according to Census data.
That growth coincided with rising cigarette taxes, indoor smoking bans, and other policies aimed at reducing the habit.
The share of US smokers within the overall population fell from 23.5 percent in 1999 to 19 percent in 2011, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
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