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While flavor bans and supply disruptions caused logistical headaches for retailers in the tobacco category, demand for cigars, vape and modified risk tobacco products (MRTP) chugged along in 2020, lifted by pandemic stay-at-home orders and cross-product consumers.

Tobacco as a category steamed along at a healthy 4.2% rise in dollar sales for the 52 weeks ending Dec. 26, 2020, according to global measurement and data analytics company Nielsen. While the pandemic may have depressed the economy as a whole, stay-at-home orders and more people working from home meant smokers could light up with fewer restrictions.