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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The latest federal data shows the nation's top tobacco companies spent less money on advertising and promotion of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products in recent years.

Numbers from the Federal Trade Commission show cigarette marketing decreased more than 5 percent to $8.05 billion in 2010, the latest year available, compared with a year earlier.

Meanwhile, cigarette sales decreased about 3 percent to 281.6 billion cigarettes in the same period.

Money spent on marketing smokeless tobacco products decreased nearly 10 percent to $444.2 million from 2009 to 2010 as sales increased 6.5 percent.

Smokeless tobacco promotion had reached an all-time high of $547.9 million in 2008 as tobacco companies look for cigarette alternatives for sales growth as tax hikes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma make the cigarette business tougher.

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