Top Cigarette Brands by Brand Value & Market Share

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Cigarettes are a health hazard, causing cancers, heart issues, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), sexual issues, and more. They are the leading cause of disability and death globally, hence the moniker, “death sticks.”  

A 2022 study by the World Health Organization puts smoking-related deaths worldwide at 8 million a year, including 1.3 million bystanders who inhale second-hand smoke. The same study suggests that 22.3% of the world’s population (about 1.3 billion people) smoke, chew, or snuff tobacco. Of this, 36.7% are males and 7.8% females. About 80% of smokers come from low- and middle-income countries.

Suggested Reading: All Cigarette Name List: A Full Spectrum 

Top Cigarette Brands: Brand Value & Market Share

On that note, let’s elaborate on the world’s best cigarette brands in 2024. These brands have significant market shares and brand values and support diverse customer needs. Love them or hate them, they are a reality. 

Cigarette Brands Per

Cigarette Brand Market Share
Marlboro 40%
Newport  14%
Camel  8%
Pall Mall Box 7%
Maverick 2%
Santa Fe 2%
Winston 2%
Kool  2%

1. Marlboro

  • Sales: $25.1 Billion
  • Brand Value: 34,741 million (2023)
  • US Market Share: 43.1% (2020)
  • Global Market Share: 40% (2023)

According to Forbes, Marlboro continues to be the world’s best-selling brand since 1972, and bigger than that of the next 10 brands put together with a US market share of 43.1%. Forbes even ranked it at #25 on the list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands in 2020.

As of 2023, the brand commands a 40% global market share and a brand value of $34,741 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Remarkably, the value exceeds that of the next eight leading cigarette brands combined.

In the US, Altria holds the brand rights, and its subsidiary Phillips Morris USA takes care of the production while in Canada, the ownership belongs to Imperial Tobacco Canada. Elsewhere, Philip Morris International manages the brand.

The American brand originated in 1846 as a small shop owned by the British tobacconist, Philip Morris. Marlboro got its name from Great Marlborough Street, London, the site of its first factory. It entered the US through a subsidiary in 1902, was registered six years later, and started selling under the brand only in 1924.  

Popular Taglines

  1. “Mild As May”
  2. “Come to where the flavor is. Come to Marlboro country” 
  3. “You get a lot to like with a Marlboro”
  4. “You Decide,” and ” Pursue Flavor.”


Marlboro, now associated with masculinity with the Marlboro Man campaigns, initially targeted women with the slogan ‘Mild as May.’

  • Introduced: 1924 (99 years ago) 
  • Country Of Origin: United States
  • Owner (USA): Altria
  • Owner (Canada): Imperial Tobacco Canada 
  • Owner (Elsewhere): Philip Morris International 

Suggested Viewing: How Marlboro Became the #1 Cigarette Brand 

Suggested Reading: How Philip Morris built Marlboro into a global brand 

2. Newport 

  • Overall Market Share: 14% (2017)
  • Menthol Market Share: 35% 

Newport is the second most preferred cigarette brand with a market share of 14% as of 2017, as per CDC. However, it rules the roost in the menthol cigarette segment, accounting for about 35 percent of sales since 1993. 

Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign targeting African Americans, it became the market leader in the African-American segment with a market share of 49.5% in 2005. The marketing portrayed it as a product that allows consumers to “Enjoy a full flavor menthol, without drowning out pure tobacco taste.” Source: Wikipedia 

Lorillard Tobacco Company unleashed Newport in 1957 and owned it until 2015 when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company acquired the entire company for a staggering $27.4 billion. 

In 1998, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that Newport cigarettes contained the highest concentration of nicotine, followed by Camel. And the brand responded by upping its nicotine content by 10% in the following six years.  


Newport has been under fire for targeting teenagers in their marketing campaigns and even “planning” to sell “Newport Nirvana,” the first marijuana cigarettes. Its Spinnaker logo resembled Nike’s Swoosh, which led to allegations of plagiarism on the sportswear brand.  

  • Since: 1957 (66 years ago)
  • Owner: R. J. Reynolds
  • Country of Origin: United States

3. Camel:

  • Brand Value: $3,485M (2023)
  • US Market Share: 8% in 2017

As per “The Centers for Disease Control,” Camel (filter only) enjoyed a market share of 8% in 2017, placing it third after Marlboro and New Port. R. J. Reynolds rolled out the brand in 1913 as a rip-off of Egyptian cigarettes that were a rage back then. The fuller puff, milder taste, and affordable price helped Camel sell 425 million packs a year after its launch. 

Camel introduced “Camel Cash,” or “C-Note,” a promotional voucher attached to the back of filtered Camel cigarettes. Designed to resemble currency, the buyers could redeem it for certain products but not for Camel tobacco products. 

R.J. Reynolds oversees the brand in the US, while Japan Tobacco manages it in the rest of the world. Offering cigarette rolling papers and loose cigarette tobacco, Camel’s European Subsidiary consistently ranks in the top 20 for roll-your-own products in Northern Europe. Expansion efforts to reach Southern and Eastern Europe are underway. 

Popular Tag Lines: 

  1. “Old Joe”
  2. “The Camels are Coming” 
  3. “I’d walk a mile for a Camel!”


Camel Cigarettes even inspired the logo of Kokuyo Camlin, the leading Indian stationery brand. North Carolina has a city, Winston-Salem, nicknamed “Camel City” after the brand. Even the iconic Camel logo is said to have hidden images and illusions

  • Since: 1913 (110 years ago) 
  • Present Owner: R. J. Reynolds
  • Country Of Origin: United States
  • Area Served: Worldwide

Suggested Reading: World’s Top Tobacco Brands 

4. Pall Mall

  • Brand Value: $6.201M (2023) 
  • US Market Share: 7% (2017)

A brand value of $6.201M and a US market share of 7% place Pall Mall fourth on our list of the world’s best cigarette brands. Pall Mall has also been consistently ranked among the Strongest and most Valuable Tobacco brands, the Biggest Global brands, and the best UK brands.

It enjoyed peak popularity in the 1960s as America’s top cigarette brand before Marlboro swept the market. Marketed as a “premium product at a sub-premium price,” the brand upped its market share from 1.95% in 2006 to 7.95% by 2010.

The UK-based Black Butler Company unleashed Pall Mall in 1899 as a “premium” brand. Come 1994, Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation acquired and in 2001 rebranded it as a “Savings Brand.” As of October 2023, R.J. Reynolds produces Pall Mall in the US and British American Tobacco outside it. 

Popular Taglines

  1. “Longer Smoke Length”


In a 124-year history, Pall Mall has pioneered innovations like the “king-size” (1939) and 100 mm long “longs” (1960). As of 2023, Pall Mall, alongside Newport and Camel, are Reynolds’ best-selling cigarette brands placed in its “Growth Brand” segment. 

  • Since 1899 (124 years ago)
  • Present Owner: British American Tobacco
  • Previous Owner: Black Butler Company
  • Country Of Origin: United Kingdom

Suggested Reading: Best-Selling Menthol Cigarette Brands 

5. L&M 

  • Brand Value: USD 6.349 Billion
  • Global Market Share: 3.4%            

In 2007, L&M was the fourth-largest cigarette brand globally, producing 92 billion cigarettes. The production went up by 5 billion cigarettes by 2016. Come 2021, L&M was ranked among the three top international cigarette brands outside the United States and China. As of 2023, it has a brand value of $6.35 billion and 3.4% global market share, making it the second most valuable cigarette brand globally. 

L&M enjoys a strong presence in Latin America, Central and Northern Europe, the Arab World, the Far East, and South Asia. If “Business Analytics” is to be believed, L&M, claimed the top spot in 25 Russian cities with a market share of 29.92% in 2007. Interestingly, the brand was not widely available in continental America until 2007. 

L&M originated in 1885, originating as a plug chewing tobacco brand under Liggett & Myers. In 1952, L&M introduced its first cigarettes, pioneering a unique filter design with a two-sided filter. In 1999, Philip Morris overtook the L&M trademark rights and continues to produce the brand as of 2023. 

Popular Taglines

  1. “American cigarettes of the highest quality with the best filter”
  2. “Just What The Doctor Ordered”
  3. “No cigarette ever went so far so fast!”
  4. “Live Modern”
  5. “Stay Fresh, Stay Fresh With L&M”
  6. “Come on Over to the L&M Side, Just for the Taste of It!”


In the 1950s, L&M launched the “Just What the Doctor Ordered!” ad campaign. The phrase, on one hand, suggested great taste, satisfaction, and protection, while on the other implied the brand’s health benefits. 

  • Since: 1885 (138 years ago)
  • Current Owner: Altria 
  • Previous owners:  Liggett & Myers
  • Country Of Origin: United States

6. Winston 

  • Brand Value: USD 3.55 Billion
  • US Market Share: 2% (2017)  
  • US Market Share Menthol: 2.29% (2019) 
  • Availability: 130 Markets 

Introduced in 1954, Winston quickly scaled the ladder of success. Until 1972, it was the world’s best-selling cigarette brand, a title later claimed by Marlboro. As per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, the brand featured among the world’s top 10 cigarette brands since 2001. 

While it remains the second-best-selling cigarette globally under Japan Tobacco outside the U.S., the American version faced declining sales, dropping to sixth place by 2005. As of 2023, it enjoys a brand value of $3,549M and a US market share of 2%, placing it seventh among the world’s best cigarette brands. 

R.J. Reynolds introduced Winston and disposed it off to Imperial Tobacco for $7.1 billion in 2014. The deal also included three other brands, namely Kool, Maverick, and Salem. Currently, Imperial Tobacco’s subsidiary ITG Brands manages the brand within the U.S. and Japan Tobacco outside it.

Popular Taglines

  1. “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should”
  2. “Winston y Puerto Rico: No hay nada mejor” 
  3. (Winston and Puerto Rico: There is nothing better)


The brand gets its name from Winston-Salem, a city in North Carolina, where R. J. Reynolds started his entrepreneurial journey. 

  • Since: 1954 (69 years ago)
  • Current Owner (US): ITG Brands 
  • Current Owner (ROW): Japan Tobacco 
  • Previous owner: R.J. Reynolds
  • Country Of Origin: United States

Suggested Reading: Best Cigarette Lighter Brands 

7. Chesterfield

  • Brand Value: $3,117M
  • US Market Share: 2% 

Thanks to a brand value of $3,117M, Chesterfield walks into our list of the best cigarette brands. Drummond Tobacco Company launched the brand in 1873 and handed it over to  Liggett & Myers in 1912. The production venue also shifted with ownership, from St. Louis, Missouri to Durham, North Carolina. By 1999, the brand changed hands as Philip Morris (now Altria) acquired it. 

Chesterfield pioneered the packaging innovation with an extra layer of wrapping to preserve moisture. Also, Chesterfield became the first brand to offer cigarettes in two sizes: King and Regular in 1952. The brand also came up with a “Blow some my way” advert campaign in 1926 to target female smokers. 

Popular Taglines

  1. “It Satisfies”
  2. “Blow some my way”
  3. “Open ‘em, smell ‘em, smoke ‘em”
  4. “Blow some my way” 
  5. “Preferred by Professional Smokers”


Winston was involved in an advertising battle with Camel in the 1950s. Read More.  

  • Since: 1896 (127 years ago)
  • Current Owner: Altria
  • Produced by: Philip Morris USA
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Previous Owners: Drummond Tobacco Company, Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company

Suggested Reading: Women’s Choice: Best Female Cigarette Brands in India

8. Rothmans

  • Brand Value: $3,111M

The British cigarette brand has been around since 1890 as a brainchild of British tobacconist, Louis Rothman. Top-quality tobacco and traditional flavor made it one of the best cigarette brands in the UK in the early 1900s. We credit Rothmans with introducing the first king-sized cigarette in the 1950s, which cuts down the intake of tar and nicotine.

As of 2023, Rothmans has a brand value of $3,111M and a decent global market share. Rothmans International PLC introduced it and British American Tobacco owns it presently. The brand has a reputation for offering a range of cigarettes, including lite, menthol, and full-flavor options, alongside its timeless and elegant packaging.


In the early 1990s, Rothmans supported the smuggling of cigarettes on the black market to force the Canadian government to reduce cigarette taxes. Upon facing criminal charges in court in 2008, the brand pleaded guilty and paid C$100 million upfront and C$450 million over a decade as a penalty. 

  • Since: 1890
  • Current Owner: British American Tobacco 
  • Previous Owner: Rothmans International PLC
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom 

Suggested Reading: The Best-Kept Secrets About Organic Cigarettes

9. Sampoerna

  • Brand Value: $3,092M
  • Indonesian Market Share: 2.2% (White Cigarette
  • Revenue: $6.78 B (2019)

The only Indonesian brand on the list of the best cigarette brands, Sampoerna has a brand value of $3,092M and a 2.2% share of the Indonesian white cigarette market. While Sampoerna Kretek (clove) cigarettes are its signature offerings, Sampoerna A and Dji Sam Soe are other popular brands. 

Sampoerna burst onto the scene on 27 March 1913 as a foundation of Liem Seeng Tee (Lin Shengdi). Since 2005, Philip Morris International has majority stakes (97.95%) in the brand. 


Unlike most cases, the founder adopted the company’s name, “Sampoerna,” as his family name. The word means “perfection” in Indonesian. 

  • Since: 1913 (110 years ago)
  • Founder: Liem Seeng Tee
  • Current Owner: Philip Morris International
  • Produced by: Philip Morris Indonesia
  • Number of employees: 29,225 (2016)

Suggested Reading: List Of Cheap Cigarette Brands in India with Price

10 Gold Flake

  • Brand Value: $3,000M

Gold Flake made its way into the list of the top 10 cigarette brands in the world in 2023 with a brand value of $3 billion. Initially owned by Stephen Mitchell & Son, Glasgow, the brand became a part of Bristol’s W.D. & H.O. Wills, a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco in 1901. As of now, Indian tobacco major, Indian Tobacco Company (ITC) owns the brand. 

While India is Gold Flake’s primary market, it has a presence in Canada, Jamaica, North Europe, Egypt, South Africa, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia. British American Tobacco Pakistan owns and produces Gold Flake in Pakistan, another huge market for it. Read More

Popular Taglines:

  1. “Honeydew Smooth”


Gold Flake gets its name from the vibrant golden tobacco the brand used since its early days. 

  • Since: 1901 (122 years ago) 
  • Introduced in India: 1960s
  • Current Owner: Indian Tobacco Company
  • Previous Owners: Stephen Mitchell & Son, W.D. & H.O. Wills


Gold Flake Gold Flake Superstar Gold Flake Lights
Gold Flake Kings Gold Flake Kings Lights Gold Flake Neo

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Feature Image Courtesy Freepik 

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