The Biggest Threat to Big Tobacco

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The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series, in which consumer goods editor and analyst Austin Smith discusses topics across the investing world.

Tobacco is a sector loved for its massive dividends, but makes many investors nervous because of the triple threat of litigation, taxation, and regulation. The last of these three is playing out in a major way in Australia, where a law has passed which mandates all cigarettes must be sold in the same olive drab packaging. Legislation like this has a dramatic impact on the dynamics of the tobacco industry. A recent Financial Times study hypothesized that legislation like this could depress cigarette prices by 19%, greatly impacting those companies which rely on strong brands to move goods.

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At the time this article was published Austin Smith has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Altria Group and Philip Morris International. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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