The unprofitable reality of tobacco stocks – City A.M.

Chestnuts may be roasting on an open fire – at least on the speakers of every shop we have visited since October – but here our focus is smoke.

More precisely we will be considering its continuing disappearance as more and more people quit cigarettes – and what this could mean for tobacco companies and those who invest in them.

To pick out a couple of headline numbers from earlier this year, this Smoking in Britain paper indicates people in England quit smoking at a higher rate in the first six months of 2017 than at any point in the previous decade. Meanwhile, the Office for National Statistics suggested average cigarette consumption in Great Britain was down to 11.3 cigarettes a day by 2015 – the lowest level since 1974.

That latter stat came from a report, Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2015, which also noted the proportion of adults in the UK who smoked had fallen from 20.1% in 2010 to 17.2% in 2015 – and across all ages too, with the largest decrease observed among those aged

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