Seasonality in sales of nicotine replacement therapies: patterns and implications for tobacco control

Nicotine Tob Res. 2011 May;13(5):395-8. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntq258. Epub 2011 Jan 31.


Introduction: Over the counter, nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are the most widely used smoking cessation treatment. This study sheds light on the seasonality of sales of NRT.

Methods: A seasonal adjustment algorithm was applied to data on the sales of NRT products for 50 metro markets in the United States to test for and characterize seasonality in NRT sales. Granger's test was applied to the data to test whether changes in NRT sales systematically predicted changes in cigarette sales 1 month later.

Results: The results show (a) that sales of NRT products are seasonal, (b) that the seasonality pattern is the opposite of the seasonality pattern for cigarette sales, (c) that seasonally higher NRT sales in a given month tend to be followed by seasonally lower cigarette sales in the following month, and (d) that seasonally high months for NRT sales (January to March) correspond to seasonally low months for cigarette sales.

Conclusions: NRT sales show a strong seasonality pattern that is the opposite of the seasonality pattern for cigarette sales. These patterns are indicative of seasonal variations in quitting behavior.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Seasons
  • Smoking / psychology
  • Smoking Cessation / psychology*
  • Smoking Cessation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • United States