NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Tobacco Togetherness”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at tobacco togetherness.  Mike, it may be the end of another era.   Recently a British tobacco company announced plans to purchase Reynolds tobacco.  Of course, Reynolds is a household name in North Carolina, so if the purchase goes through, it will mark another turn of the page on North Carolina’s economic history. What’s the economics of this move?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Consolidations have been occurring in the tobacco industry, as the market for sales has changed and shrunk; often, bigger companies can cope better
  2. Cigarette sales are not dead
  3. There are as many smokers worldwide today than a decade ago
  4. Growth is occurring in foreign markets in Africa and Asia
  5. Big Tobacco is also expanding in new products like e-cigarettes and devices that just heat tobacco rather than burn it
  6. Still, the prospective merger represents a new day for the tobacco industry, and for North Carolina history
  7. I’m MW


Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service