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​Smoking May Disappear Within A Generation, Analysts Say

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​Smoking May Disappear Within A Generation, Analysts Say

Smokers may disappear from many markets within just 10-20 years, according to analysts at Jeffries.

They say that, within the next decade or two, there could be 'no smokers' left in some markets.

Analyst Owen Bennett wrote in a note last Friday (26 March): "With regulators and tobacco ambitions increasingly aligned, in many countries, no smokers within a generation could become a reality.

"If smoke-free is to happen, this is only achieved with the support of RRP [reduced-risk products, including e-cigarettes and vapes]."

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According to Bloomberg, governments and tobacco companies are 'on the same side in this shift', as more countries adopt smoke-free targets and companies 'push smokers over to reduced-risk products' like vaping or oral nicotine.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The belief that cigarettes may soon be a thing of the past is also shared by Citigroup Inc, which predicts smoking will disappear from the US, Australia, parts of Europe, and large areas of Latin America by 2050, if the declining trend of recent decades continues at such a rate.

In a note, Citigroup Inc analyst Adam Spielman wrote: "Smoking has been in decline for the past five decades because of what we call the ESG Squeeze: pressures from societal attitudes, regulation, and taxation."

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Bloomberg reports that the MSCI World Tobacco Index has underperformed the broader MSCI World Index since the start of last year, saying smokeless tobacco products manufacturer Swedish Match AB outperformed while Imperial Brands PLC lagged behind.

According to Futurism, tobacco giants will have to 'reposition to stay competitive', switching from traditional tobacco products to alternatives like e-cigarettes and other vapor products.

Cigarette company Philip Morris International warned last summer that the sales of cigarettes may grind to a total halt within the next decade or so.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

In a sustainability report, CEO Andre Calantzopoulos wrote at the time: "I am convinced it is possible to completely end cigarette sales in many countries within 10 to 15 years."

Futurism reports that the company is now working hard to switch its consumers over to smoke-free products, with a target of 40 million adult smokers to make the move by 2025.

However, Bennett argues that Imperial Brands would struggle to make the move to smoke-free products, thanks to its dependence on legacy assets in the US and Europe.

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"If the end of smoking comes from the introduction of RRP, as long as big tobacco is taking its fair share, growth should be just as good, if not better than the past," he added.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Smoking

Jess Hardiman
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