A lot of people may be wondering what the future holds for the tobacco industry.
Will it be dead, or will it finally come out of hibernation?
Will its competitors finally follow suit, or stay in hibernation until 2020?
And if the latter, how long will it last?
In the meantime, it’s worth asking how the tobacco market is actually performing.
Here’s a look.
The first thing to note is that tobacco sales are still growing, albeit at a slower pace.
In Australia in the year to the end of March this year, there were 1.7 billion cigarettes sold, a 3.2 per cent increase on the same period in 2015.
But the number of people using them has actually fallen.
In 2016, 6.2 million Australians used tobacco, a decline of 9 per cent.
While Australia has seen some big changes in tobacco policy, most of the recent change has come in the form of tobacco cessation programs.
These programs have seen tobacco brands and tobacco companies buy back some of their stocks and give back some to the retailers, who then sell the product.
The big winner has been the Australian Tobacco Association, which is selling back almost a third of its shares in companies that it owns and which have pledged to support tobacco cessation initiatives.
These include Australian Spirit, Imperial Tobacco, and Philip Morris Australia.
“The Australian Tobacco Alliance is committed to making our industry a world leader in reducing smoking and is a major player in tobacco cessation efforts,” the group said in a statement.
“We have committed to invest more than $3 billion to fund and support the tobacco sector’s continued development and to increase support to our partners in the sector.”
Our commitment to the tobacco cessation initiative will include more than 50 projects across Australia.
“The other big winner for the group is the Australian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, which will buy back about 20 per cent of its holdings.
This includes companies that have committed their shares to the Australian Heart Foundation.
These are the big tobacco companies that are now making money.
The second thing to notice is that the tobacco companies are still struggling to convince people that smoking cessation is a good idea.
According to research conducted by Australian Health and Medical Research Council (AHDMC), almost two-thirds of Australians say they have heard of a tobacco company’s program, but only 40 per cent think that it’s a good way to quit smoking.
So, it is clear that people are still confused about what the big players actually do.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHWM) research shows that most smokers are unsure about the impact of quitting smoking.
And, even among smokers, only half think they can quit the habit completely.
This is not good news for the big brands and their sponsors.
The tobacco companies have a strong financial incentive to keep their products in demand, which can make them more attractive to consumers.
As more and more smokers start to realise the benefits of quitting, the tobacco giants will likely start selling less cigarettes and reducing the amount of tobacco that they produce.
But even with this change in strategy, the big companies are not going to get rid of the industry.
The Australian Government is set to introduce new legislation in 2018 that will give the Australian Government the power to impose new taxes on tobacco products and will require tobacco retailers to buy tobacco products from Australian companies that adhere to Australian standards.
This means that the big big tobacco brands will have to work harder than ever to convince their consumers that quitting smoking is worth the costs.
And they will have an even harder task than ever trying to convince the public that quitting is something that can be achieved in the shortest time.