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New USDA Report Shows That Declines in U.S. Tobacco Production Far Exceed Domestic Consumption Declines and are Caused Primarily by Decline in Exports

September 19, 2000

Washington, DC — A report published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that declines in production of U.S.-grown tobacco far exceed declines in domestic consumption and are caused primarily by a decline in exports.

The report shows that, while domestic consumption of cigarettes is expected to decrease by about three percent in 2000, the use of U.S.-grown tobacco is expected to decline by 16 percent. U.S. leaf tobacco exports also declined by 16 percent from July 1999 to June 2000.

Altogether, U.S. tobacco production is forecast to decline by 15 percent, including a nine percent decline in production of flue-cured tobacco and a 26 percent decline in the production of burley tobacco.

'This USDA report tears another hole in the tobacco industry's claim that the economic crisis facing U.S. tobacco farmers is caused by public health policies and the resulting declines in domestic consumption,' said Matthew L. Myers, President of the CAMPAIGN FOR TOBACCO-FREE KIDS. 'This report shows once again that the real cause of the crisis is the decision of the U.S. tobacco companies to shift their manufacturing and growing operations overseas, thereby reducing their purchases of American-grown tobacco.'