An international consumer advocacy group has warned about the rising smoking prevalence in the United States, amid aversion to innovation and the persistent public health campaigns against vaping and other less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.

“Smoking is up for the first time in a generation. The public health lobby is to blame,” the Washington D.C.-based Consumer Choice Center (CCC) announced on its website.

CCC is a consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science and consumer choice. It focuses on main policy areas such as digital, mobility, lifestyle and consumer goods and health and science.

Yaël Ossowski, deputy director of CCC, cited figures from the 2020 Cigarette Report of the Federal Trade Commission showing that Americans bought more cigarettes in 2020 than they have in more than a generation.

“The total number of cigarettes reported sold by the major manufacturers, 203.7 billion units in 2020, increased by 0.8 billion units (0.4 percent) from 2019, the first increase in cigarettes sold in 20 years,” according to the report.

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