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Tobacco Stocks Slump; Cause Unproven

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Reynolds American (NYSE: RAI) led tobacco stocks on a down tick Wednesday, dropping nearly one percent.

Reynolds' merger partner Lorillard (NYSE: LO) was also down by 0.6 percent and Altria Group (NYSE: MO) slumped more than 0.5 percent. Other cigarette makers were dropping with no news to account for the movement.

The relatively obscure Indian publication Deccan Chronicle of Hyderabad, India, said Wednesday that Indian health officials are set to ban e-cigarettes, but the item is vaguely worded and ill-sourced, and has been ignored by major news organizations.

E-cigarettes today account for $1 billion of the tobacco industry's $35 billion in annual sales, but Wells Fargo says the devices could hit $10 billion by 2018.

Wales has proposed banning the devices later this year, and the World Health Organization caused a stir last spring with a leaked memo that appeared to call for restrictions.

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