Sasha Naryshkine's  Instablog

Sasha Naryshkine
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Equities analyst at Johannesburg based asset management firm, Vestact. A contrarian only when markets are down and long term optimist on global economic growth and human innovation. Manage money in Johannesburg (the gateway to Africa) and New York (the gateway to the world).
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  • Sammy says smoke that cigarette. Finland says for now..... 0 comments
    Oct 1, 2010 6:53 AM
    A long term theme that we DO NOT like is smoking and tobacco usage. Simply put, it is bad for your health, bad for those around you and their health and perhaps most importantly, places a burden on state healthcare resources. Not only does smoking place pressures on you national fiscus down the line (from the start of using the product), it is less and less socially accepted in a business environment. And it is a soft target for governments to collect more and more taxes.

    Finland are leading the charge in trying to not only reduce the smoking rate (which they have succeeded in doing) but to banish cigarette smoking entirely, with a new law that is implemented today. And there will be a phase in over time. Check out the Bloomberg story: Finland Banishes Marlboro Man From Shop Shelves in Bid to Stub Out Smoking.

    Don't fire back at me, well smoking is addictive and people will always do it. The trick that the Finish government have learnt is to attach a social stigma to it, and then enforce laws and now make the product completely out of sight. And you are not allowed to advertise. So you know that that are there, but people using the products have to do it out of harms way. It does not sound like an investment that I want to be in, the product is harder to access, you can't advertise and the government is hell bent on taxing and reducing the consumption rate.

    50 years ago you could just light up wherever. I remember just twenty five years ago or so when I flew overseas the front rows were occupied by smokers and the rest were not. Now you can get arrested for smoking in the toilets. Just saying, that although laws and habits change slowly, you don't want to get stuck in an investment that is running up a slippery slope. In my opinion. I feel it already, I am going to get thrashed for these few paragraphs, talking my own book.

    Disclosure: no positions

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