A huff and a puff…

Finweek English Edition - - Marketplace Simon Says -

News that the US ad­min­is­tra­tion was look­ing to crack down on men­thol cig­a­rettes sent Bri­tish Amer­i­can To­bacco (BAT) shares tum­bling down over 20% ear­lier in Novem­ber. Men­thol is more than half of US sales and a quar­ter of global in­come for the group. As a flavoured cig­a­rette, men­thol cig­a­rettes are con­sid­ered an “en­try” for young smok­ers. This ties in with con­cerns around flavoured va­p­ing de­vices also be­ing an en­try for new smok­ers. The to­bacco in­dus­try had hoped that va­p­ing would get them out from un­der any scru­tiny. But the ev­i­dence so far is that it is not go­ing to work as reg­u­la­tors around the world are quickly mov­ing to close the loop­hole. I ex­ited BAT years ago (be­fore va­p­ing came on the scene) on con­cerns of tight­en­ing reg­u­la­tions and, ul­ti­mately, fall­ing sales. This cer­tainly is playing out. The in­dus­try will sur­vive for a while and div­i­dends will be de­cent, but there is no deny­ing this is an in­dus­try on its last legs.

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