New data show something that should have been obvious to everyone not carrying a shield in the ongoing moral panic over vaping.

Sales data show that in 2020, traditional tobacco sales rose for the first time in two decades:

The number of cigarettes purchased by wholesalers and retailers rose slightly, 0.4%, to 203.7 billion from 202.9 billion in 2019.

The FTC’s Cigarette Report didn’t offer reasons for the increase in sales among the major tobacco companies, Altria Group Inc., ITG Brands LLC, Reynolds American Inc. and Vector Group Ltd.

The FTC didn’t respond to requests for comment.

No comment? Well, how about that long public health crusade against vaping and other products that promised to help smokers kick the habit?

People who once vaped may also have returned to regular cigarettes because of health concerns over vaping prompted by a mysterious lung illness in 2019 that was ultimately linked to vitamin E oil in marijuana vaping products. Bans on flavored vaping and increased e-cigarette taxes may have also contributed to the increase, consumers and industry officials said.

Never fear, folks: the nanny state is on the case, looking to institute new, market defying tobacco bans:

In April, the Biden administration and the Food and Drug Administration announced they would take steps to ban menthol cigarettes, a policy move that could sweep more than a third of all cigarettes sold in the U.S. from the market. In 2013, the FDA found that menthols are harder to quit than regular cigarettes.

What could possibly go wrong with forcing a third of all products sold to suddenly disappear from shelves? Did someone just say “black market”?