11 Best Selling Cigarette Brands In US

The 11 best selling cigarette brands in US contribute huge revenues to the US Treasury every year in the form of tobacco taxes and legal settlements. According to Euromonitor, about 263.4 billion sticks were sold in the U.S., accounting for $94.4 billion in revenue in 2016.

However, the industry faces strong regulations and restrictions due to its adverse health effects. Cigarette sales in the U.S. have almost halved since 1981, when 630 billion were smoked. Growing health concerns and increasing awareness about the ill-effects of smoking have reduced cigarette consumption worldwide. Cigarettes are addictive and can cause serious health hazards (lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema etc.) in smokers. The younger generation is the most vulnerable since they start smoking in their teens. Despite lower sales, smoking causes over 480,000 deaths per year and diseases in more than 16 million Americans, according to CDC.

The U.S. cigarette industry has made several changes in response to new regulations like completely removing terms such as ‘light’ and ‘mild’ on cigarette packets. In 2003, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control also mandated displaying pictorial as well as textual warning messages on the cigarette packs to dissuade smokers from smoking. The industry also witnessed an increase in federal excise tax in 2009.

defotoberg / Shutterstock.com

defotoberg / Shutterstock.com

Over the years, the prices of cigarette have gone down as the production mechanism has improved. There are various other trends driving the cigarette market. For example, though cigarette sales have declined in the overall market, the sales of flavored cigars have continued to increase. Menthol cigarettes have continued to hold a constant market share.

Marketing and advertising have played a major role in driving cigarette sales and the 11 best selling cigarette brands in US, invest heavily in marketing to remain ahead of the competition. More than 70% of the cigarette market share has been consistently held by the top 14 brands. Marlboro, Newport, and Pall Mall have been the clear leaders over the last decade.

However, some things have not changed – cigarettes still kill one for every million smoked. It is true despite the fact that cigarette makers claim to use filters, low tars, and lights. But none of these can make smoking safer or better!

Starting on the next page, we have listed the 11 best selling cigarette brands in US using different sources and have ranked them based on their market share according to 2016 sales data. Philip Morris USA, a subsidiary of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., owned by British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BTI), are the leading cigarette players in the U.S. industry.

Head to the next page to begin the list! You might want to check out our list of 11 Top Selling Cigarettes In the World.

11. Dunhill

2016 Market Share – less than 2%

The Dunhill brand of cigarettes is popular for its taste and smell. Manufactured by British American Tobacco PLC (ADR) (NYSE:BTI), a leading multinational cigarette company headquartered in London and the proud owner of some of the world’s high selling cigarette brands. Dunhill brand is favored for its different varieties and varying levels of nicotine and tar.

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Arfan Afzal/Shutterstock.com

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10. Lucky Strike

2016 Market Share – less than 2%

Another British American Tobacco’s brand Lucky Strike is one of the best-selling cigarette brands in the U.S. British American Tobacco’s top five brands constitute about 50% of its total annual revenues. The brand was created in 1871 and lives up to its true and original American cigarette reputation till date.

9. Kool

2016 Market Share – 2%

Kool was the first menthol brand to gain nationwide distribution. It was launched in 1933 and quickly became one of the most popular menthol cigarettes worldwide. Manufactured by the ITG Brands, Kool cigarettes are known for their distinctive menthol flavor combined with specially blended tobaccos.



8. Winston

2016 Market Share – 2%

Introduced in 1954, Winston cigarettes became the first nationally popular filtered cigarette. It is manufactured by ITG Brands in the U.S. Winston was the best-selling cigarette brand in the nation for almost a decade in the 1960s.



7. Santa Fe

2016 Market Share – 2%

Santa Fe cigarettes are made by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, the manufacturer of Natural American Spirit cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco products. These cigarettes are made using whole-leaf tobacco and water.


6. Maverick

2016 Market Share – 2%

With 2% of total market share, Maverick ranks sixth on our list of the 11 best selling cigarette brands in US. Maverick is one of America’s leading discount cigarettes, offering its smokers a smooth taste at an affordable price. The Maverick brand of cigarettes is manufactured by ITG Brands, the third-largest tobacco company in the U.S.

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Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock.com

5. Pyramid

2016 Market Share – 2%

Launched in 1988 as the first “branded discount” cigarette, today Pyramid is one of the leading discount brands in the USA. The Pyramid brand is manufactured by Liggett Group, the maker of high-quality cigarette brands for more than 100 years in North Carolina. Pyramid cigarettes are available in different product styles like Red Kings Box, Blue Kings Box, Orange Kings Box etc.


4. Pall Mall

2016 Market Share – 7%

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s  Pall Mall is one of the best-selling cigarette brands in the US. With a rich history of more than 115 years, Pall Mall is a preferred brand amongst smokers who prefer a smooth taste, slow burn and a longer-lasting smoking experience. It is a fast-growing brand in the US with a market share of 7%. The cigarette brand was launched in the premium category is available in different tobacco strengths and methanol content.


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3. Camel

2016 Market Share – 8%

Camel is another best-selling cigarette brand in the USA manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. It is largest and fastest growing brand of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s portfolio. With a history dating back to a century, the Camel brand of cigarettes is best known for its unique blend of flue-cured, burley and exotic Turkish tobaccos. The success and popularity of the brand can be measured by the fact nearly half of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. were Camels in the early 1920s. Today the brand is expanding with further innovations such as Camel Crush and Menthol with Cool Burst technology.


2. Newport

2016 Market Share – 13%

Originally manufactured by Lorillard, Newport cigarettes are now a part of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.’s brand portfolio. Launched in 1957, today Newport is America’s #1 selling menthol cigarette brand. The brand also offers non-menthol cigarettes with a unique and rich taste. Its latest Newport Platinum is being launched for adult menthol smokers with a refreshingly smooth menthol taste that is different from the traditional Newport family.


1. Marlboro

2016 Market Share – 41%

With over 40% of total market share, Marlboro tops our list of the 11 best selling cigarette brands in US. The brand is manufactured by Philip Morris USA a leading manufacturer of cigarettes and tobacco in the USA and the U.S. tobacco division of Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO). It commands over 50% market share in the retail cigarette segment in the U.S. Marlboro leads Philip Morris’ cigarette product portfolio and is sold in all the 50 states across the nation and commands a market share larger than the share of its two largest competitive brands combined. Marlboro in the No.1 choice of both men and women, across all age groups.

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