Pandemic Cigarette-Smoking Boom Appears to Be Over

After an unusual uptick in sales in the first year of the pandemic, U.S. cigarette purchases are on the decline again as smokers spend more time away from their homes.

Total cigarette industry sales volume fell 6.5% in the quarter ended Sept. 30 compared with the same period a year earlier, according to data released Thursday by Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. The decline was steeper than those recorded in the first and second quarters of this year, the tobacco giant said.