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October 22nd, 2015:

Man left with hole in lung after e-cigarette spits out burning nicotine

Richard Courtney took up vaping to kick his 16-year habit

Richard Courtney, from Horley, in Surrey, bought the £100 device – which is meant to turn the fluid into vapour – with the aim to give up smoking.

The 33-year-old said: “I started vaping to try to give up after 16 years of smoking. I can’t believe it put me in hospital.”

The Sun newspaper reported that Richard was walking home from a friend’s house when he tasted fluid and started coughing.

He said “Then it felt like I’d got a trapped nerve in my shoulder. In the morning I had a really tight chest and couldn’t breathe properly.

“I went to hospital. One of the nurses there put my vape on an oxygen tube and showed that it was spitting liquid out.”

AAP releases multiple policies to protect youths from tobacco, nicotine

For the first time, the Academy has released three linked, evidence-based statements to help protect children from tobacco addiction and exposure. The policies call for raising the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 years; urge pediatricians to screen patients for use of tobacco and nicotine delivery devices; and address tobacco dependence in parents as part of pediatric health care.

The policies and a technical report grading the evidence supporting the policies are available online and appear in the November issue of Pediatrics. (See resources.)

A related policy statement Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems also is available online and appears in the November Pediatrics. All of the documents are from the AAP Section on Tobacco Control.

Harms of tobacco use, exposure

Tobacco addiction and tobacco smoke exposure are among the most important, preventable causes of sickness, disability and premature death in both the developed and developing worlds. There is no safe level of tobacco smoke exposure.

The landmark 2014 U.S. surgeon general report’s conclusions on the health consequences of smoking ( include:

Cigarette smoking has been causally linked to diseases of nearly all organs of the body, to diminished health status and to harm to a fetus.

Exposure to tobacco smoke has been causally linked to adverse effects on the health of infants and children.

The tobacco epidemic was initiated and has been sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry. Advertising and promotional activities by tobacco companies cause the onset and continuation of smoking among adolescents and young adults.

Effective, evidence-based tobacco control interventions continue to be underutilized and implemented at funding levels far below those recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The impacts on cardiovascular disease, cancer, emphysema and premature death are well-known. Tobacco smoke exposure of children increases severity of bronchiolitis and asthma, increases middle ear disease, leads to findings of preclinical atherosclerosis, and increases risk for childhood cancers. Tobacco and nicotine exposure harms brain and lung development.

In addition to the well-documented impact on adverse fetal outcomes such as stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome, recent research demonstrates that in utero tobacco and nicotine exposure increases risks for wheezing, asthma, obesity, learning disabilities and neurobehavioral problems.

Treatments underused

The adolescent’s developing brain is particularly susceptible to tobacco dependence. Nicotine — a neurotoxin — changes brain structure and chemistry.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved prescription and over-the-counter medications for tobacco dependence; however, these treatments are underutilized. Tobacco dependence treatment medications include shorter-acting relievers such as nicotine gum and nasal sprays and long-acting controllers such as nicotine patches, bupropion and varenicline.

Combination therapy is more effective than monotherapy. State-of-the-art approaches initiate treatment intensity based on severity of the tobacco dependence and on treatments the patient is ready to accept. Treatment intensity and duration are adjusted based on control of nicotine withdrawal symptoms (

Electronic nicotine delivery systems (such as e-cigarettes) should not be recommended because clinical trials have failed to demonstrate their effectiveness, and there is evidence of harm from these devices.

Recommendations for pediatricians

Tobacco use prevention is an important — and effective — part of anticipatory guidance.

Pediatricians should inquire about tobacco use and tobacco smoke exposure as part of health supervision visits and visits for conditions that may be caused or exacerbated by such exposure. Be aware of the different tobacco products — not just cigarettes -— available to youths. With fruit and candy flavors, hookah (water pipe) and electronic nicotine delivery system use is rising rapidly among middle and high school students. Adolescents often will use two or more different tobacco or nicotine products.

Parental tobacco dependence should be addressed as part of the child’s health care. Approaching tobacco dependence as a severe, chronic disease, pediatricians can acknowledge the severity of the parent’s addiction and recommend treatment and/or treatment resources to protect the health of the child. Recommendations can involve over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy, national or state help lines (such as 1-800-QUIT NOW) and/or the parents seeing their own doctor or clinic for treatment. The motivated pediatrician can, with appropriate documentation, prescribe for the parent to protect the health of the child. If the parent is not ready to stop smoking, a smoke-free home and car should be advised.

Tobacco dependence treatment or referral should be offered to adolescents who want to stop smoking. There is very good evidence for effectiveness of behaviorally based approaches — especially for those with mild levels of addiction. For those with moderate to severe addiction, medications that are effective in adults are an option for use in adolescents, although evidence is limited. Close follow-up is needed as non-adherence to regular medication use and relapse of tobacco use after stopping therapy are common. Electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes, others) should not be recommended as their use is associated with reduced rates of stopping smoking in adolescents.

Public policy guidance

Tobacco control programs need to be funded adequately. Programs should change the image of tobacco by telling the truth about tobacco.

Increasing age of purchase decreases youth smoking rates. The age of purchase of tobacco products should be increased to 21 years, and such regulations need to be enforced. Tobacco taxes should be increased as this decreases tobacco use among youths.

In addition to comprehensive smoking bans in workplaces, recreation facilities, public areas, and campuses of educational and health care institutions, smoking in multi-unit housing should be prohibited. Smoking in or near one unit exposes and harms children living in nearby units.

Advertising and promotion is a cause of tobacco use initiation in adolescents. Therefore, tobacco advertising and promotion that is accessible to children should be prohibited, including point-of-sale advertising, product placements in movies and other entertainment media, and promotion in print or Internet-based media accessible to youths.

Flavoring agents, including fruit, candy and menthol flavors, should be prohibited in all tobacco and nicotine products as flavored products encourage tobacco use initiation among youths.

Dr. Farber, a lead author of the tobacco reports, is policy chair of the AAP Section on Tobacco Control Executive Committee.

Up in smoke: illicit cigarette trade cost Hong Kong government HK$2.5b in lost tax revenues last year, study reveals

Gloria Chan

One in every four cigarettes smoked in Hong Kong last year was illicit, costing the government HK$2.5 billion lost in tax revenues, according to study released on Wednesday.

The “Asia-16” study, conducted by UK-based Oxford Economics and funded by tobacco giant Philip Morris, shows 1.3 billion, or 28 per cent, of cigarettes consumed were illicit. Despite a 5.6 per cent point drop compared to 2013, Hong Kong ranks fourth in illicit cigarette trading out of 16 Asia-Pacific markets studied, behind Brunei, Macau, and Malaysia.

Adrian Cooper, chief executive officer of Oxford Economics, said the city had a “significant problem” with illicit cigarettes. “[It’s] driven in part by the substantial retail price gaps with neighbouring countries that were exacerbated by tax rises in 2009 and 2011,” he said, adding that the price difference created a huge incentive for cross-border trade of cigarettes.

According to the report, the price of the most-sold brand in Hong Kong last year was US$7.1 per pack of 20, significantly higher than US$1.1 in China, US$3.8 in Macau, and US$3.0 in Taiwan.

In 2014, excise taxes were raised by 11.7 per cent, which brought up the retail price of the most-sold brand by 10 per cent.

Concern groups called for stronger action against organised smuggling gangs and syndicates.

“Hong Kong’s serious illicit tobacco problem is dominated by cross-border organised crime groups that use the proceeds to finance other criminal activities,” said Jeff Herbert, adviser to the advocacy organisation Hong Kong United Against Illicit Trade (HKUAIT) and a former senior superintendent with the Hong Kong police force. “[The government] needs to get a lot tougher with such organised crime syndicates.”

Herbert suggested three main solutions: use the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance as an effective means to seek heavier penalties, freeze assets of organised criminals, and confiscate their crime proceeds; run more public education campaigns; and introduce a balanced excise policy with regular but moderate tax increases in pace with inflation.

Herbert also warned against excessive tax increases as he believed that would only push more smokers to consume illicit cigarettes.

The HKUAIT admitted being sponsored by tobacco companies but added that their group’s focus is not only on the cigarette trade.

Source URL:

Johan Cruyff ‘diagnosed with lung cancer’ as Holland and Barcelona legend awaits results of further tests

Holland and Barcelona hero Johan Cruyff is suffering from lung cancer

The 68-year-old Dutchman was diagnosed last week in Spain

The severity of his condition will be ascertained by further tests

Cruyff was the star of the great Holland team of 1974, and its Total Football

He remains arguably the best player in history for both Ajax and Barcelona

Johan Cruyff has been diagnosed with lung cancer, his former club Ajax have confirmed.

Spanish media reported the news on Thursday, and Ajax director Edwin van der Sar said on the club website: ‘We have had contact with his manager, Carole Thate, and she confirmed to us that Johan indeed has lung cancer.

‘It has just been discovered, so they could not yet provide much more information. On behalf of the club, I wish Johan and his family a lot of strength and a speedy recovery.’

Cruyff was the star of the Holland team of the 1970s which invented the style of ‘Total Football’

Cruyff was a habitual smoker until 1991, when he underwent heart bypass surgery

The Barcelona, Ajax and Holland legend, regarded as one of the greatest footballers in history and star man of the Dutch team that introduced ‘Total Football’ to the world, was diagnosed with the disease last Tuesday in the Catalan capital.

Cruyff, 68, is now undergoing further tests to understand the extent of the disease, according to El Mundo.

A long-term smoker of around 20 cigarettes a day, Cruyff underwent open-heart surgery in 1991 while managing Barcelona. He quit smoking following the double bypass operation, and returned to his post for a further five years.

Cruyff led Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992, when Ronald Koeman’s free-kick beat Sampdoria at Wembley.

Despite winning just 48 caps for his country, Cruyff is one of the most influential footballers to have played the game. He developed close control and levels of skill years ahead of his time, pioneering the ‘Cruyff turn’ – dragging the ball back behind his standing leg to turn in the opposite direction – a move much-imitated and still used to bamboozle defenders to this day.

Public smoking may be banned in SA: Health Minister–20151022

South Africans will not be allowed to smoke in public anywhere in the country if Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has his way. The Minister says government will soon introduce a total ban on smoking and advertising of tobacco and alcohol in the country.

Motsoaledi was speaking at the launch of a 24 hour health TV channel in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg. The new channel, The Goodlife Network, goes live on air on December 1 this year.

Motsoaledi says smoking increases diseases and puts the health system under pressure with more patients needing care when they could have prevented it.

“We are going to ban total smoking in public areas. At the moment we have put a corner in restaurants, a corner at the airport, “stupidly” even a corner at the hospital. I’m saying “stupidly” because we are outright stupid to accept that as human beings why should there be a corner for anybody to smoke in the hospital when we know the dangers. So there is going to be no corner anywhere in any public place, that is our space all of us”, says Motsoaledi.

New CASAColumbia® Report Reveals Nicotine Is not A Harmless Drug


NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new report released today by CASAColumbia® reveals that alternative, non-combustible products that contain nicotine, but not tobacco, are not harmless, particularly for young people. Nicotine remains one of the most addictive and potent substances, regardless of whether it is delivered through a combustible cigarette, electronic cigarette, vape pen, hookah pipe or cigar.

The report, Understanding and Addressing Nicotine Addiction: A Science-Based Approach to Policy and Practice, demonstrates that electronic cigarettes and other nicotine products are increasingly being used by young people, many of whom have never smoked traditional cigarettes and who have expressed no interest in doing so. It also shows that there is no evidence of nicotine’s safety in young people, but there is evidence that its use is associated with an increased risk of other substance use and addiction.

“It is alarming that e-cigarette use has seen a three-fold increase over one year among middle and high school students,” said Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO of CASAColumbia. “This report highlights that these products are not safe for young people. E-cigarettes and other devices that contain nicotine promote dependence on one of the most addictive and easily available drugs. Exotic flavors can attract young people to vaping, and the added chemicals in the flavors may be harmful when inhaled.”

The authors of the report call upon policymakers to take action on nicotine product regulation and to fund more research on the health and safety of nicotine products. Although electronic cigarettes may be safer for those with nicotine addiction who have been unsuccessful in quitting cigarette smoking, these products have not been proven safe. Unlike FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy, which is a safe and potentially effective smoking cessation method in adults, there is no strong evidence that electronic cigarettes and similar products are effective smoking cessation aids. There is some evidence that they might actually perpetuate cigarette smoking. Research shows that these products frequently are used in conjunction with cigarettes, rather than as a substitute for cigarettes, which increases the user’s exposure to nicotine.

“Our findings show that a science-based approach to the regulation of all nicotine-containing products is required,” said Linda Richter, PhD, Director of Policy Research and Analysis at CASAColumbia and the report’s lead author. “It’s time for the FDA, as well as state and local governments, to act to protect young people from the harms of nicotine and other addictive substances. That non-cigarette nicotine products are safer than cigarettes is not in dispute. But if we wait for all the evidence regarding their long-term harms and benefits to come in before we act, countless young people will get hooked on nicotine, a highly addictive drug.”

Highlights of the report include:

· Evidence regarding the prevalence of nicotine use and addiction
· The effects of nicotine on the brain and body
· Risk factors for nicotine addiction and the groups most at risk
· Current prevention and treatment efforts and the implications of this research for policymakers and health care providers
The report is available for download at no cost and can be found on our website at:

About CASAColumbia
CASAColumbia is a national nonprofit research and policy organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of substance use and addiction. Founded in 1992 by former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano, Jr., our interdisciplinary experts collaborate with others to promote effective policies and practices. We conduct and synthesize research, inform and guide the public, evaluate and improve health care, and analyze and recommend policies on substance use and addiction. For more information, visit

Philip Morris: Reading The Smoke Signals In 2015 – Part 1

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. (More…)I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.


Roughly one year after my series on international tobacco, I have decided to write an update.

I will focus primarily on the performance of Philip Morris versus its three largest international competitors.

In the first part of the 2015 series, I will study the competitive dynamics in Western Europe.

Due to popular demand, I have decided to write another installment of my 2014-published series on international tobacco called ‘Reading the Smoke Signals’. As customary, I will focus mostly on the international arena (excluding the U.S. and China), because this is the primary battleground for Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) and its largest competitors: British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT:BTI), Japan Tobacco (OTCPK:JAPAY) and Imperial Tobacco (OTCQX:ITYBY). This article will focus on the relative performances delivered by these four companies in some of the different geographic areas in which they compete. I will also look at some of the important structural developments, including the increased pace of consolidation seen year to date. Since Philip Morris is the international market share leader, this company in particular is the focus of the article. In this first installment, I will take a look at the competitive landscape in Western Europe.

Philip Morris in Western Europe

Western Europe is a mature cigarette market with high average prices as a result of high excise tax levels. It also has an increasingly strict regulatory environment with more regulation in sight, as the new EU tobacco products directive is mandated for adoption by EU member states in the spring of 2016 at the latest. Profitability in this region is above average as a result of high average income levels and high average tobacco prices at retail. Philip Morris is the undisputed share leader in the region, due in important part to Marlboro’s long-time leadership and continued resilience. The new Marlboro 2.0 architecture appears to have benefited the brand’s consumer perception and its market share has continuously showed improvements over the past 4 years or so. Marlboro market share in the region was up to 19.3% for 2014 and has increased further to 19.4% as of September 2015. That is an important indication of PM’s ability to keep the brand relevant despite its reliance in part on an aging demographic.

The pace of volume declines in the EU market overall accelerated during the economic crisis in 2008. Next to economic reasons like pressure on personal incomes and high unemployment rates, other important factors contributing to this pressure have been increasing tax rates, an increased prevalence of illicit trade, e-cigarette consumption and increasing regulation because of health concerns. In 2014, however, the industry saw significant moderation in volume declines as a result of the decreased popularity of e-cigarettes, a decrease in illicit trade and some economic improvements as well.

Market share for Philip Morris in the region was up to 39.8% for 2014 and to 39.9% as of September 2015. Next to Marlboro, PM relies on brands like L&M (up 0.1pp to 7.1% share) and Chesterfield (up 0.3pp to 5.8% share) as its most important volume drivers. In markets like Italy and the Czech Republic, it also has ownership of local brands like Diana and Red & White, respectively, that have generally witnessed declines as consumers gradually move to international brands. Philip Morris’s performance has been strong in recent years, as it continues to gain share in many of the region’s most important markets. Its market shares were up during 2014 in all of the following markets: France (up 0.8pp to 41%), Germany (up 0.4pp to 36.6%), Italy (up 1.8pp to 54.9%), Poland (up 1.9pp to 40.1%) and Spain (up 0.9pp to 32.1%). Marlboro’s performance was strong primarily in France and Spain, while L&M drove performance in Poland and Germany. Improvements in Italy were driven by share gains delivered by Chesterfield, which continued to derive benefits from its price repositioning in this market. Market share improvements were reflected in PM’s overall volume improvement of +0.1% during 2014, while the total cigarette market was lower by -3.1%.

The trends seen during 2014 have largely continued during the recently reported 9M period of 2015, with further share improvements seen in France, Germany and Spain. In Italy, the positive performance of 2014 was reversed due to share declines seen in Marlboro as a result of price increases (from €5 to €5.20 a pack), with weakness in brand Philip Morris as well (which includes the morphed local brand Diana), as a result of increased competition in the low-price segment.

British American Tobacco in Western Europe

British American Tobacco has been locked into a battle for the No. 2 share position in Western Europe with Japan Tobacco for a number of years now. BAT appears to be losing this battle when looking at current data. British American’s volume in the Western European segment was down by -5.88% to roughly 112 billion sticks during 2014, while Japan Tobacco’s volume was up slightly by 0.09% to 111.4 billion sticks (for comparison: PM’s was 185.2 billion). In 2014, BAT performed well in markets like France, the Benelux, the U.K., Spain and Poland. Weaker performances were delivered in markets like Italy, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany. Weakness seen in Italy during 2014 appears to have improved notably during the first half of 2015, although the company’s reporting does not really allow for great market share insights.

BAT’s Rothmans brand continues to amaze in terms of volume improvements and added 10 billion sticks during 2014 to its 2013 volume of 26 billion sticks globally (roughly +38.5%). This brand’s strong growth benefits BAT’s European performance in certain markets as well. Italy is one of the markets, where the company is deriving benefits from the performance of this brand, which was up to 4.1% share of market in H1-2015, up from 0.2% in H1-2013 and 2.4% in H1-2014. Rothmans is probably the fastest growing cigarette brand globally (out of those with notable size of course) as a result of its roll-out into new markets and the strong performance of innovations like convertible cigarettes. BAT’s share in Italy stabilized at 20.2% for H1 of 2015 as a result of the performance displayed by Rothmans in this market.

Romania continues to be a BAT stronghold with total share up to roughly 54% in Aug-2015 versus 53.8% during 2013, largely as a result of higher share for Global Drive Brands (GDB) like Kent, Dunhill and Pall Mall. Pressure on BAT’s German share of market during 2014 seems to have been reversed during H1 of 2015, with important brands like Pall Mall and Lucky Strike bouncing back and rising above their shares of last year. This development pushed BAT’s share back up to 19.5% (June 2015) versus 19.4% for the same period last year. In France, BAT’s share has been on the rise thanks to strength displayed by Lucky Strike, with that brand’s share up a full share point to 8.3% in July 2015 and total BAT share up to 17.6% in the same month (17% during 2014).

The most important development in the area of European tobacco M&A was conducted by British American, when it acquired TDR a couple of months ago. The acquisition price totaled €550 million including debt, roughly 12.5x EBITDA of €44 million (2014), which is broadly in line with historic tobacco buy-out multiples. It is not a particularly large acquisition and I am not very familiar with the business in question. TDR apparently has a leading market position in the Balkan country of Croatia (once part of Yugoslavia) and a relevant presence in the neighboring countries Bosnia and Serbia. I expect BAT will use the acquisition, which includes a manufacturing facility in Croatia, as a platform to further develop its business and brands in Central Europe.

Japan Tobacco in Western Europe

Japan Tobacco saw broad-based market share gains in many Western European markets during 2014 with important markets like France up to 20.8% share (+0.8ppt) and Spain to 21.7% (+0.7ppt), largely driven by strengths seen in brands like Winston and Camel. The good performances delivered in these markets were continued during H1-2015 with France up to 21.1% and Spain up to 22%. Market share in Poland improved further as well and was up to 16.4% during H1-2015. Other good performances were delivered in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, the Benelux countries, Greece, Ireland, Poland and Switzerland.

Performance in Italy apparently was less favorable, which continued during H1-2015 because market share dipped to 20% during that period, even though the company’s newly launched Benson & Hedges value offering saw good growth. Austria was a weak performer as well as market share dropped to 32% (down 0.2ppt), with further declines to 31.4% during H1-2015. In the U.K., the company continued to show resilience by widening its leading position, with Amber Leaf further consolidated as the No. 1 fine-cut brand in this market, Sterling is still No.1 in cigarettes and total company share up to 41.6% as of June 2015. I consider the performance of JT in the U.K., especially admirable because it is being achieved largely through the continued strength of local brands, thereby defying the negative growth seen in national brands in most other cigarette markets. In the U.K., the tobacco market is largely divided between Imperial Tobacco and Japan Tobacco, with share gains made by Philip Morris and BAT apparently primarily at the expense of Imperial Tobacco.

In Romania, JT also continues to perform well with its share of market up to 25.2% due to strength in Winston, Sobranie and Benson & Hedges. It has a decent No. 2 position in this market after BAT, which has roughly half the market.

Imperial Tobacco in Western Europe

Imperial Tobacco meanwhile relies to an important degree on core markets like France, Germany, Spain and the U.K. for a large part of its European volumes. This company is extremely reluctant with providing data on market share performance, which I attribute to their largely unfavorable track record on this metric. I believe the company lost market share in all four of its core European markets, which is due at least in part to their inferior brand portfolio which contains mostly local brands. Their historic strength in fine-cut tobacco has also been less advantageous than one might expect to be the case in austerity-stricken Europe, because the other companies have leveraged their cigarette brands to launch fine-cut offerings as well.

Imperial Tobacco has been actively trying to gain share of the Italian market with its John Player Special brand, which I believe is the factor primarily responsible for the changed dynamics in the lower-priced segment of this market. Imperial gained share in Italy during 2014 from a modest level. This positive momentum was continued during H1 of 2015 with premium brand Davidoff also doing well. Other gains were delivered in Greece, the Nordics (in snus tobacco), Portugal and the Czech Republic. Share declines were registered in markets like the Benelux and Germany (in fine cut), with share developments apparently stabilizing in Austria. The developments in Imperial’s most important European markets largely continued in the same direction during 2015. The Benelux countries, which are also important fine-cut markets for Imperial, apparently showed more stabilized share performances.

Market share was reportedly down in the U.K. during H1-2015. Interestingly, the company reports having a ‘leading position’ in the U.K., but in my opinion they now trail Japan Tobacco in this market.

The U.K. is one of the most important European markets for Imperial Tobacco, because it has long held a significant market share there, although this position has been eroded somewhat by PM and BAT gaining share with Marlboro and Rothmans, respectively.

IMT does not provide extensive volume numbers either, but its global volume was down strongly during its fiscal year 2014, namely by -7.26% to 294 billion sticks. This was due in part to an inventory realignment program that ended during the year, as could be seen by the moderation in its reported decline to -2.77% for 9M-2015 (the underlying decline was -6% though). I strongly expect this company’s organic growth will continue to underperform its international peers, although it has in the past year benefited from its lower-than-average exposure to emerging market currencies and the brand acquisition in the US.


Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco continued to outperform in the Western Europe region during 2014 and H1-2015, with British American and Imperial showing significant weakness during FY 2015, but apparently showing some improvements during H1-2015. Since PM, BAT and JT have all reported significant gains in important markets like Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. over the past years, I strongly suspect Imperial Tobacco is losing ground rather quickly in these countries.

Imperial Tobacco is a company that has conducted a lot of acquisitions during the past two decades or so; its significant presence in France and Spain is the result of its 2008 acquisition of Altadis (which was created out of those two countries’ former state tobacco monopolies). It, therefore, relies extensively on local brands in these markets, which are very consistently being outcompeted by the international brands owned by PM, BAT and JT. In Germany, Imperial Tobacco also has a strong presence as a result of its 2002 acquisition of Reemtsma, which includes a strong presence in the fine-cut tobacco category. This is a very large segment of the German tobacco market overall, which should have served Imperial well since it is a fine-cut specialist, but the other companies have successfully taken share in this category as well. In my opinion, therefore, Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco have shown themselves to be the best operators in Western Europe.

In the upcoming Part 2 of my ‘Reading the Smoke Signals 2015′ series, I will take a look at the performance of the international tobacco companies in another geographic region, so keep an eye out!

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