What’s Happening in Tobacco? Q4 2022

February 2023

Despite a rebound in 2021, notably in the US, Irish whiskey may be increasingly challenged by RTDs and world whiskies. A more diverse geographic reach could help the category sustain growth and avoid saturation, for which Irish whiskey brands will also continue building premium credentials and innovating to create distinct attributes beyond aged expressions. While shifts in drinking habits may intensify challenges to the category, they also open up possibilities for cross-category reinvention.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

New Zealand passes world’s first birth year ban

New Zealand passed the Smokefree Environments Act (flagged in What’s Happening in Tobacco? Q2 2022) which contains a world-first ban on tobacco sales to people born after 1 January 2009 through a gradually rising legal purchasing age. In addition, the act reduces the maximum nicotine content in smoked tobacco products to 0.8mg/g and sets a cap of 600 tobacco retailers across the country as a whole. The legislation has been heralded internationally and is likely to act as a model for action in other markets.

Unclear if UK will publish smoking action plan

In October 2022, it was widely reported that the then newly appointed UK Health Secretary Therese Coffey had scrapped plans to publish a tobacco control action roadmap which had been promised by her predecessors. At the time, sources indicated a low likelihood of recommendations from the Khan Review – such as a birth year ban – being brought forward. Coffey was replaced as Health Secretary at the end of October after the fall of the Truss administration and it remains unclear if and when a further tobacco control plan will be brought forward.

US Supreme Court upholds California flavour ban on tobacco and nicotine products

The US Supreme Court rejected an application by RJ Reynolds and other industry groups to block the implementation of the state’s ban on flavoured tobacco products, introduced in 2020 and upheld in November 2022 by a vote of Californian citizens. The law covers menthol cigarettes, flavoured e-vapour products and flavoured cigars and came into effect in late December 2022.

Australia announces package of intended measures

On the 10th anniversary of Australia’s landmark plain tobacco packaging law, the country’s Department of Health announced a series of new measures intended to “reclaim its position as a world leader on tobacco control”. The plan includes consolidation of all existing tobacco control laws into one act and the implementation of new measures such as on-stick warning messages, standardising pack sizes, banning the use of additives and flavours, standardised filters and restrictions on the use of language in brand names which imply reduction in harm. The package is mooted to also include updates on e-vapour regulations.


Regulatory updates (1)
Regulatory updates (2)
Regulatory updates (3)
Taxation updates (1)
Taxation updates (2)
Illicit trade updates (1)
Prevalence updates (1)
Prevalence updates (2)
Market and product updates (1)
Market and product updates (2)
New product developments (1)
BAT FY results: Revenue growth driven by cigarette stability and RRP expansion
Philip Morris Q3 results: Solid cigarette sales and robust demand for heated tobacco
JTI Q3 results: Core revenue increases on the back of marginal cigarette declines
Imperial Brands FY 2022: Performance supported by economy shift in the US
Global growth outlook continues to worsen amid rising recession risks
Persistent and broadening inflation significantly reduces consumer spending power
Real GDP annual growth forecasts and revisions from last quarter
What to look for in Q1 2023


Passport Tobacco covers the seven major tobacco categories: Cigarettes, Cigars & Cigarillos, Smoking tobacco (made up of Pipe tobacco and RYO tobacco), Smokeless Tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco), E-Vapour Products (closed and open); Heated Tobacco; and Tobacco Free Oral Nicotine. Smoking paraphernalia such as pipes, rolling papers, lighters or matches, etc., are not included, nor are nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products, which are part of Euromonitor's Passport Consumer Healthcare database.

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