What’s Happening in Tobacco? Q4 2023

March 2024

This report analyses the main news related to the tobacco industry for Q4 2023, including regulatory updates, prevalence surveys and company strategies. The slowdown of global inflation is set to continue, driven by the ongoing economic normalisation after the inflationary impact of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine. Tobacco players continue to focus on reduced-risk products, whilst governments and regulatory bodies show more impetus in preventing the expansion of some of these products.

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This report comes in PPT.

Regulatory updates

Legal smoking age to be raised in the UK

In October 2023, the UK prime minister announced the government’s intention to gradually raise the legal age for the consumption of cigarettes in the country. The aim is to increase it annually by one year, which would prevent those who are currently 14 years old or less from ever buying it legally.

In the following month, the Scottish National Party expressed the intention to follow a similar path, by raising the minimum legal age from 18 to 19 in 2027, and afterwards by annually increasing it by one year. Nevertheless, until now there is no confirmation on whether such measures will be implemented or not.

Menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars to be banned by the FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget the final rules for a ban on menthol cigarettes and flavoured cigars. The aim of such a measure is to reduce the appeal of cigarettes to young people and, consequently, to decrease the likelihood of current non-users experimenting.

If implemented, the measure, that has already been adopted by two US states in the past, is likely to face a backlash from players in the tobacco industry.

EU’s review of the tobacco directive to potentially impact the future of Sweden’s snus

The EU’s legislative framework for tobacco control is about to be reviewed, and questions are arising on the impact it will have on snus. The moist oral tobacco product is already banned in the EU, except for Sweden. However, there are doubts on whether its sale in the country will continue to be allowed.

The EU’s aim with such a review is to ensure a tobacco-free generation is achieved by 2040. Nevertheless, this potential measure has resulted in different reactions from members of the EU parliament. While some associate the use of snus with health issues, others claim that the presence of snus in Sweden was what led the country to be the only EU nation to reach the UN’s goal of a smoke-free society, which means having less than 5% of smokers within the population.

Plain packaging to be mandatory for tobacco products in Oman

From April 2024, plain packaging will become the mandatory standard for tobacco products in Oman. According to such measure, at least 65% of the packaging will have to include a public health warning, a picture and a message to quit. The brand name will be allowed in the rest of the packaging, but in a standardised font and colour.

Regulatory updates (1)
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Regulatory updates (6)
Taxation updates (1)
Taxation updates (2)
Taxation updates (3)
Illicit trade updates (1)
Illicit trade updates (2)
Prevalence updates (1)
Prevalence updates (2)
Market and product updates (1)
Market and product updates (2)
Market and product updates (3)
Market and product updates (4)
New product developments (1)
BAT FY results: New categories as the main drivers behind BAT’s 2023 performance
PMI FY results: Another year of volume growth driven by heated tobacco
JTI FY (until Sep 2023) results: Core revenue increases driven by combustible pricing
Imperial Brands FY (until Sep 2023) results: Tobacco remains the main revenue driver
Global baseline outlook: Growth expected to slow in 2024 before reaccelerating in 2025
Global inflation expected to moderate further in 2024, albeit at a slowing pace
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter (1)
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter (2)
What to look for in Q2 2024 (1)
What to expect in Q2 2024 (2)


Passport Tobacco covers the seven major tobacco categories: Cigarettes, Cigars & Cigarillos, Smoking tobacco (made up of Pipe tobacco and RYO tobacco), Smokeless Tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), E-Vapour Products (closed and open); Heated Tobacco; and Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine. Smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, lighters or matches, etc., are not included, nor are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, which are part of Euromonitor's Passport Consumer Healthcare database.

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