Tobacco stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange plummeted lately after US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is investigating reports over several years of e-cigarette witnessing epilepsy. Food and Drug Administration of the US have said that they have received more than 30 reports of epilepsy probably because of the use of e-cigarettes.
"Epilepsy is a brain disorder. That happens because of instantaneous or unusual electrical activity in the brain. Its symptoms are unusual behaviour, sometimes loss of consciousness, anxiety, depression and muscle contraction.”
US FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb stated it is yet to be confirmed if there's a vertical linkage between use of e-cigarettes and risk of epilepsy. But, we shared this information early in the public domain because as a public health agency, it's our duty to transmit about probable safety concerns associated with the products we regulate under scientific investigation by the agency.
Post this announcement, UK based tobacco companies’ stocks tumbled in Wednesday's session as they are trying to shift away from traditional cigarettes by introducing e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking.
Shares of Imperial Brands Plc (LSE: IMB) declined by 4.13% at GBX 2,519.50 in the Wednesday’s session against its previous day close and at the time of writing (as on April 04, 2019 at 03:04 PM GMT) shares of Imperial Brands were quoting at GBX 2,562.50 and added 42.0 points or 1.67% against its Wednesday’s close price. The outstanding market capitalisation of Imperial Brands Plc stood at around £25 bn which ranks it among the large-cap companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the stock is also a constituent of FTSE 100 index.
Imperial Brands Plc price chart. (Source: Thomson Reuters)
Another UK based tobacco company which also has significant investments in the e-cigarette’s arena, British American Tobacco Plc (LSE: BATS) also plummet 1.87% against its previous day close at GBX 3,119.0 and at the time of writing as on April 04, 2019 at 03:10 PM GMT, shares of British American Tobacco were quoting 7.5 points or 0.19% higher at GBX 3,126.5. British Tobacco Plc has an outstanding market capitalisation of around £72 bn, which ranks it among the large-cap stocks listed on the London Stock Exchange and also a constituent of FTSE 100 index.
British American Tobacco Plc price chart. (Source: Thomson Reuters)
Although conclusion on the linkage on use of e-cigarettes and epilepsy is yet to be confirmed by the US FDA, any positive correlation (e-cigarettes and epilepsy) will be going to dent tobacco companies which are enhancing their e-cigarette product portfolio as a part of their Next Generation Product strategy.
Imperial Brands producing its blu vaping as a part of the company’s Next Generation Product range within e-cigarettes segment and Glo is the flagship e-cigarettes product of the British American Tobacco.
One should keep a close watch on the further announcement by the US FDA because any positive development on the linkage between the use of e-cigarettes and epilepsy could lead to destroying the wealth of tobacco investors.
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