While I expect many in Washington and Colorado to actually ramp up their smoking of a different sort in 2013, most of the rest of the country is going to see an abundance of litter — in the form of half-full packs of Camels.
Helping Americans kick the habit is an absolute horde of pharmaceutical companies. GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) has several products, including the ubiquitous Nicorette-brand gums and lozenges, as well as the Nicoderm CQ patch. GSK also offers buproprion under the Wellbutrin brand name, which helps quitting smokers deal with nicotine cravings and withdrawal. French pharma firm Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) also offers the drug under the name Aplenzin.
Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) markets its Chantix as a “pill with a plan.” The medicine helps smokers tackle the physical side effects, while its GetQuit plan helps consumers deal with the mental aspects.
And while many Americans might be taking smoking off the table altogether, don’t go hating on tobacco stocks — many are positioning themselves to catch smokers merely looking for “safer” alternatives. Big Tobacco is aggressively getting into electronic cigarettes. Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) unveiled its disposable Vuse electronic cigarettes this summer, and Lorillard (NYSE:LO) is rolling out Blu eCigs following a buyout of the Blu name this spring.