Tobacco stocks have taken a hit on reports that the Biden administration is considering forcing companies to strip cigarettes of nicotine and banning menthol products in the US.
The proposals, which have been around for years, have resurfaced as the US Food and Drug Administration faces an April 29 deadline to respond to a citizens’ petition to ban menthol cigarettes, which make up roughly a third of sales in the country.
Shares in UK groups British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands fell roughly 6 per cent on Tuesday, aping a similar slide for Marlboro-producer Altria following a report in the Wall Street Journal that said Biden’s administration was “considering” new rules. Philip Morris International, which does not sell cigarettes in the US, was down just over 1 per cent.
Tobacco groups have been racing to gain market share in vaping and non-combustible heated tobacco products, as public health campaigns in western countries continue to suppress…