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Cigarette Prices To Increase; New Tobacco Product Rulings Begin Soon

The nation’s three largest tobacco makers are raising cigarette prices.

The Business Journal reports that Reynolds American Inc. subsidiary R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Inc. and Philip Morris USA are raising prices for most brands.

Reynolds and Lorillard will raise prices by 6 cents a pack or 60 cents a carton for wholesalers and direct purchasers, but that increase is typically absorbed by consumers.

Philip Morris is essentially raising its prices by the same amount by decreasing promotional discounts.

Price increases are seen by tobacco companies as a way to increase margins as the number of U.S. smokers decline, the Journal says.

Meanwhile, according to the Journal, another issue deemed important to the tobacco industry may be gaining some traction. The top U.S. regulator overseeing the tobacco industry is apparently ready to take some action on a number of issues that will affect tobacco manufacturers.

The Journal reports that Mitch Zeller, the head of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, says his agency will soon begin ruling on a backlog of product applications from tobacco companies.


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