Market Overview

How Long Before The FDA Could Ban Menthol Cigarettes?

Share:
How Long Before The FDA Could Ban Menthol Cigarettes?
Related BTI
Benzinga's Top Upgrades, Downgrades For November 29, 2018
Wells Fargo: Altria Stock Is Extremely Cheap
Stocks That Fell to '-Year Lows in the Week of Dec. –4 (GuruFocus)
Related MO
48 Biggest Movers From Friday
Pot Stocks, ETFs, Top News And Data From The Cannabis Industry This Week
The 5 Stocks On My Christmas List - JPMorgan, Altria, Walmart, New Residential And Western Digital (Seeking Alpha)

Earlier this month, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration announced its latest efforts to restrict tobacco companies marketing to teens. Tobacco investors are watching closely to see how the FDA plans to attack and how the industry will respond.

Latest From The FDA

On Nov. 15, FDA head and cancer survivor Scott Gottlieb announced new restrictions on flavored vaping products. However, Gottlieb got tobacco investors’ attention by also proposing an outright ban on menthol cigarettes, which represent about 35 percent of total U.S. cigarette sales.

Anti-tobacco organization Truth Initiative said the FDA should implement its ban immediately on menthol cigarettes immediately and warned the regulatory process can be extremely slow.

“Banning menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars is one of the most powerful actions the FDA can take when it comes to saving lives,” Truth Initiative said in a statement.

Actions Louder Than Words

While a ban on menthol cigarettes is a major potential disruptor for the tobacco industry, Height Capital Markets said this week Gottlieb’s bark has been louder than his bite up to this point.

“Since his November 15 announcement, we have yet to see the agency formally advance the regulatory process required to ban menthol cigarettes,” Height wrote.

“The FDA has not issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), and inaction by the FDA combined with press reports now makes it seem like this event will not occur until 2019,” Height said.

Height said an NPRM submitted by the end of January 2019 could still put the ban on track to be implemented by the end of 2020, but any delays beyond January could push the ban back to 2021.

Stocks Impacted

According to Wells Fargo, British American Tobacco PLC (NYSE: BTI) would potentially take the biggest hit from a menthol ban, with about 55 percent of its U.S. volume coming from menthol sales. Altria Group Inc (NYSE: MO) (21 percent of volume) and Imperial Tobacco Group plc (OTC: IMBBY) (20 percent of volume) would also be impacted.

If Height’s projections are correct, Philip Morris International Inc (NYSE: PM) and 22nd Century Group, Inc. (NYSE: XXII) would also have about two years to prepare for a potential menthol ban.

Related Links:

Bernstein Initiates On Tobacco Stocks: Philip Morris 'Leads The Way In The New Nicotine World'

Analysts Weigh In On The FDA's Position On E-Cigarettes, Menthols

Latest Ratings for BTI

DateFirmActionFromTo
Nov 2018RBC CapitalUpgradesUnderperformSector Perform
Oct 2018DZ BankDowngradesHoldSell
Oct 2018BernsteinInitiates Coverage OnMarket Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for BTI
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: e-cigarette Height Capital MarketsAnalyst Color Government News Regulations FDA Analyst Ratings Best of Benzinga

 

Related Articles (BTI + IMBBY)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Latest Ratings

StockFirmActionPT
DLTRBernsteinUpgrades0.0
CNPUBSUpgrades34.0
UGIUBSDowngrades63.0
ATOUBSDowngrades106.0
CSCONomuraDowngrades50.0
View the Latest Analytics Ratings
Don't Miss Out!
Join Our Newsletter
Subscribe to:
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Daily Analyst Rating
A summary of each day’s top rating changes from sell-side analysts on the street.
Fintech Focus
Your weekly roundup of hot topics in the exciting world of fintech.
Thank You
for registering for Benzinga’s newsletters and alerts.
• The Daily Analysts Ratings email will be received daily between 7am and 10am.
• The Market in 5 Minutes email will be received daily between 7am and 8am.
• The Fintech Focus email will be received every Friday between 2pm and 5pm.

Gap Reports Q3 Beat, Announces Hundreds Of Store Closings: The Sell-Side Reacts

'The Match': Pay-Per-View Golf May Be A First, But Primetime Tee-Offs Are Nothing New