I hold Imperial and BATS, so have no moral stance on this sector. However it is sensible to bear in mind the facts regarding the global long term trends in the tobacco area. I did some very brief checks on this a while back and have previously posted my observations (viewtopic.php?f=7&t=567&p=15972&hilit=peak+tobacco#p15938
) , which I will repost here in the hope that someone has better quality global-scale facts to offer. Not local scale, nor anecdote, but facts.
The result is that we could be at 'peak tobacco' both in production & consumption terms (as after all they must balance). Take a look at these linkshttps://www.statista.com/statistics/279 ... ince-1880/
(stick consumption 1880-2014)http://www.tobaccoreporter.com/2016/05/balancing-act-3/
(tobacco production 2012-2016)http://www.tobaccoleaf.org/Userfiles/Fi ... GA-eng.pdf
If I am reading this correctly peak tobacco was 2009 and the trend is down now despite global population continuing to increase
. This has the same implications for tobacco as I pose for oil in my watching out for effects of peak oil, and likely over similar decadal timescales. However I am seeing much less discussion about tobacco (global revenues $500bn) vs oil (global revenues $760bn - 1.2trn). It seems to me that the larger brands/companies are pursuing declining market strategies which implies they recognise this. Food for thought in my mind.
If this is correct there will be a optimal moment to exit tobacco stocks. I do not know when that is, but I am paying attention. It is both a matter of capital growth/risk and of dividend (though any purist HYPers will only be looking at half of the available information). I would be very happy to listen to anyone with better facts than I have been able to unearth.