@vapor_law - Last week, CNBC's Jim Cramer watched the long-standing tobacco sector get obliterated as Wall Street sentiment on the space turned starkly negative. Seemingly unaware of the advantage tobacco companies have due to the Deeming Regulation and @juulvapor as the leading disruptive player in the sector, Cramer signaled the demise of tobacco is near. Shares of key tobacco stocks dropped drastically on a combination of an Altria downgrade from Citigroup analyst Adam Spielman and a weak earnings report from Philip Morris International.”We saw the market's sudden recognition that the cigarette industry seems to be in serious trouble, disrupted by the rise of vaping," the "Mad Money" host said on Monday.”Over the course of three short days, the tobacco stocks were bent, they were spindled and they were mutilated by the realization that electronic cigarettes have become a serious threat to the old-school cigarette makers," he continued.The cigarette industry used to be fairly predictable, Spielman wrote in his Altria takedown to "neutral" from "buy." The explosion of vaping has raised grave concerns about the fate of tobacco makers like Marlboro parent Altria and Philip Morris International, which owns the international rights to Altria's brands, despite lingering questions about the health risks of vaping.
Practically a tobacco industry obituary, Spielman's analysis cited the serious threats increasingly popular electronic smoking devices like Juul pose to cigarette makers, Cramer said.Juul Labs now controls almost half of the e-cigarette market, boasting year-over-year sales growth of nearly 800 percent in 2017. Its flagship product, a small, discreet vape pen with higher nicotine levels than its competitors, has even caught on with teenagers.
"Morality aside — not easily done, but work with me here — this thing is selling like crazy and it's really eating into the tobacco industry in a way that other e-cigs never could," Cramer said. "According to Nielsen, U.S. cigarette volumes shrank by 6 percent in the first quarter, substantially worse than expected, and Spielman ascribes the difference to Juul.
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