But high unemployment and rising cigarette prices and taxes also have caused many smokers to smoke less and trade down to cheaper brands during the recession to save money. Lorillard's Maverick and Reynolds American Inc.'s Pall Mall have been among the beneficiaries.
During the third quarter, Maverick saw its volume increase about 1 percent after several quarters of solid growth.
The brand has held up "beautifully well," even though in the current marketplace, a smoker could buy a premium-priced menthol cigarette from one of its competitors at the same price as a discount brand like Maverick, Kessler said.
No. 2 cigarette maker Reynolds American said Tuesday its third-quarter profit grew nearly 7 percent as higher prices and smokeless tobacco gains helped offset a nearly 7 percent decline in the number of cigarettes it sold. No. 1 Altria Group Inc. reports on Thursday.Lorillard, the oldest continuously operating U.S. tobacco company, spun off from Loews Corp. in 2008. ___ Michael Felberbaum can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/MLFelberbaum.