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Care is needed when using aggregate smokeless tobacco (SLT)
consumption data to examine the potential for SLT being used as a
potential reduced exposure product. As far as I am aware very few people,
if any, are suggesting that traditional chewing tobacco be used as an aid
to smoking cessation; any hopes in this area have been focused on moist
smokeless tobacco (MST).
Data from the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax an...
Data from the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB),
available at www.ttb.gov, show that MST and chewing tobacco have had very
different consumption patterns over the last decade. Using taxable
removals (in pounds) in the US, plus imports, as a proxy for consumption,
consumption of chewing tobacco seems to have declined at a rate of 5.2% a
year between 1997 and 2005, while consumption of MST grew at a rate of
3.6% a year over the same period. Aggregate SLT consumption over the
period declined at 0.1% a year.
The picture of steady growth in annual MST volumes – contrasting with
declines for cigarette consumption – is also corroborated by industry
data. Data from Swedish Match, based on AC Nielsen figures, suggest that
consumption of MST grew at 3.7% a year between 1997 and 2005, as measured
per can (available in investor presentations section of
Both the TTB and the industry data suggest that MST consumption may
have accelerated in recent years. Measured by weight, MST consumption grew
at an annual rate of 3.3% from 1997 to 2002, and by 4.0% a year from 2002
to 2005 according to TTB data. Measured in cans, MST consumption grew at
2.3% a year from 1997 to 2002, and by 6.2% annually from 2002 to 2005,
according to Swedish Match. The latest Nielsen figures also seem to be
indicating that the MST category is growing by volume at 6-7% in the first
half of 2006.
I have not seen a definitive study of why this apparent acceleration
of consumption is happening. Part of the explanation is down to the fairly
rapid growth of discount snuff brands, which may be encouraging existing
MST users to consume more product. But industry leader UST also believes
that the number of adult consumers has increased recently.
According to UST survey data (see its December 2005 Annual Investor
Meeting presentation at www.ustinc.com) the number of adult consumers of
MST grew from 4.7mn in 2001 to 5.4mn in 2004. If we take US Census Bureau
(www.census.gov) estimates for the population size in July of each of
those years (285.1mn in 2001 and 293.7 in 2004), that would mean MST
prevalence grew from 1.65% to 1.83% over the period. The same UST survey
from 2004 also suggests that 63% of those MST users who had been using MST
for less than a year had used cigarettes or roll-your-own tobacco as their
first regular tobacco product.
Deutsche Bank and/or affiliates own one percent of more of the common
equity of Swedish Match, expects to receive, or intends to seek,
compensation for investment banking services in the next three months, and
received non-investment banking related compensation from this company
within the past year.