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Home » Recent CSD Articles » Categories » Today's News » Wells Fargo Anticipates Cigarette Price Increase Wells Fargo Anticipates Cigarette Price Increase Could the next cigarette price increase appear this September? Convenience store retailers should expect the next cigarette price increase to arrive sooner than the normal November cycle, according to a report by Wells Fargo Securities LLC. Wells Fargo conducted a survey of its tobacco retailer and wholesaler contacts representing approximately 60,000 U.S. convenience stores to gauge expectations for the next round of cigarette pricing increases. Bonnie Herzog, managing director – equity research, beverage, household & personal care, tobacco & c-stores for Wells Fargo noted, “According to our contacts, the next cigarette list price increase is expected to be led by PM USA during the week of Sept 18 at $0.08/pack (+2-3%). We agree as we don’t expect manufacturers to wait till the normal November cycle to take a price increase, especially given the severity of volume declines in Q2,” which were related to the outsized impact of California’s $2-per pack increase in excise tax. “As has been the case in past tax cycles, we expect the industry to further mitigate California tax-driven volume declines with list price increases, partially offset by stronger promo efforts. Longer term, we see further downside to combustible cigarette volumes if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration succeeds with its new nicotine mandate. However, we believe this could be mitigated by smokers potentially smoking more in an effort to get the nicotine levels they require—an ‘unintended consequence’—and increased conversion to reduced-risk products,” she added.
The Tobacco Papers reveal that companies conjectured that their new nicotine products could successfully compete with pharmaceutical NRT and they set the goal of gaining market control of all products containing nicotine. "It was surprising to discover the industry came to view NRT as just another product," Dorie Apollonio, associate professor in clinical pharmacy and lead author of the study, was quoted as saying in a UCSF news release. "The tobacco companies want people to get nicotine - and they're open-minded about how they get it." Smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and another 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease. The costs of such illnesses total more than 300 billion U.S. dollars each year, when including both costs of direct medical care and lost productivity due to secondhand smoke exposure. Clinical trials show that NRT can help people quit smoking, but only if used in conjunction with counseling and in tapering doses. Over-the-counter availability of NRT made it easy for smokers to get a nicotine fix in non-smoking environments like offices and inside airplanes, with the net result that they were less likely to quit. And given that NRT products are widely available, one of the questions is whether they encourage nicotine abuse.