US administration considers nicotine-reduction law
Inspired by the success of his predecessor in managing markets, US President Joe Biden takes his first steps in this field. The American leader has proposed to reduce nicotine levels in all cigarettes sold in the United States. Biden’s decision had an immediate effect on shares of tobacco companies. The market is extremely sensitive to any restrictions imposed on tobacco firms. The industry has been at risk for decades. Biden’s initiative only added fuel to the fire, triggering a price collapse in the market. Thus, Marlboro’s market cap plunged by almost $6 billion in a trading session. Altria, British American Tobacco, and Imperial Brands shares tumbled by 6.2%, 6.7%, and 7.15% respectively. If Biden’s proposal eventually turns into a law, tobacco producers will have to reduce the amount of nicotine to non-addictive levels. At the same time, menthol cigarettes will be banned completely. In fact, flavored cigarettes account for about a third of the 226 billion cigarettes sold annually in the country. It will take years to enforce new measures. Legal problems may also arise.