The opportunity to affect significantly the consumption of cigarettes in the United States through government action appears quite limited. Fifty million Americans smoke cigarettes. The United States is a leading producer of tobacco leaf and utilizes a price support system which is designed to protect tobacco growers. The industry is profitable and politically well connected. Several states are important producers of tobacco while others benefit from the excise tax imposed on cigarettes. The opposition to smoking is relatively weak and divided. Nevertheless, the tobacco industry worries about the future market for cigarettes.

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