"Sector Snap: Tobacco stocks hit by menthol opinion
12:26 PM ET, 07/23/2013 - Associated Press
NEW YORK -- Shares of tobacco companies fell Tuesday after a Food and Drug Administration review concluded that menthol cigarettes likely pose a greater public health risk than regular cigarettes.
Shares of Lorillard, the top maker of menthol cigarettes with its Newport brand, took the biggest hit among the U.S. cigarette makers following the news.
But the review does not make a recommendation on whether to limit or ban the minty smokes _ one of the few areas of growth in the shrinking cigarette industry. The FDA said it's seeking input from the health community, the tobacco industry and others on possible restrictions.
According to the review, there is little evidence to suggest that menthol cigarettes are more or less toxic or contribute to more disease risk to smokers than regular cigarettes. But the data does show that menthol use is likely associated with more younger people taking up smoking and that menthol smokers have a harder time quitting.
There's also evidence indicating that menthol's cooling properties can reduce the harshness of cigarette smoke and that menthol cigarettes are marketed as a smoother alternative, the review said.
Meanwhile, the percentage of U.S. cigarette smokers using menthol brands grew from 33.9 percent in 2008 to 37.5 percent in 2011, according to a study by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, with more significant growth among younger smokers.
Citi analyst Vivien Azer said she thinks it's still unlikely that there will be a complete ban of menthol cigarettes any time soon."
Menthol as you may know is a byproduct of mint which is grown here in Oregon. Ironically mint may be the only thing in a cigarette that's actually good for you so naturally it's time to outlaw it.
I also own LO (and MO)...I think with vaping now in their portfolio, the tobacco insudtry risk is severly diminishing. I have said on here before, vaping is not a "quit smoking/ smoking substitute," its a whole new liesure activity. Belgium has bowed to pharma industry pressure and banned them as they have a large pharma and clinical trials industry, and pharma has millions tied up in quit/substitutes.
I do not think many other countries will go this route. I was watching LO and debating adding,but did not yet.