The $96B tobacco bond market is continuing its decline, as most Americans have quit smoking at a faster rate than estimated when most of the bonds were sold in previous decades. Health risks, public smoking bans, e-cigs and new excise taxes have all been factors in the decrease.
A forecast last month from Moody's Investors Service estimates 65-80% of tobacco bonds are headed toward default, and many analysts predict the default to occur by the end of the decade.
Cigarette consumption fell an annual average of 3.4% since 2000, while many bonds were set up to only withstand drops of 2-3%. E-cigarettes have also diminished market share, with sales growing by more than $2.2B in the last four years.