香烟缭绕隐现投资良机 / Future Profits Up in Smoke?

香烟缭绕隐现投资良机

这里给大家提供一个长线投资的建议:10到15年内,中国必将成为世界最大的戒烟市场,涉及戒烟诊所、戒烟药物、周边产品及其他相关服务。

戒烟也将成长为香港方兴未艾的医疗旅游业一个庞大的细分市场。香港医疗旅游业目前已经开始着眼于以服务大陆客人为主。

或许你会认为这个想法异想天开,但在下结论之前,我们不妨先来考虑一下现实的情况。

毫无疑问,如今的中国消费者精明过人,见多识广,又比改革开放前拥有了更广博的知识、更高的流动性和更大的个人选择余地。

但比较脱节的是,过去三十年,中国的香烟产量和消费量也出现了大幅增长。中国业已成为世界最大的烟草生产国及消费国。国有企业中国烟草总公司(China National Tobacco)的国际市场份额已接近三分之一,远远超过其他国际烟草业的同行。

香烟消费出现这么巨大的增长,原因在于消费者对吸烟有害自身健康,包括二手烟会危害子女、亲人及他人健康的认识还异常匮乏。

过去五年来,对食品安全、环保和健康生活方式的关注已经成为中国城市消费者的主流心态。所有迹象也表明这种趋势方兴未艾。

吸烟有害健康,人们不会永远忽视这个问题。尽管烟草公司不断声明和游说,但吸烟有害长期健康的医学证据已势不可挡。

全球每生产十支香烟,其中就有三支被中国大陆消费掉,而每100名大陆男子中就有67位烟民,比例之高在全世界仅次于也门和吉布提。

更令人瞠目的是,世界卫生组织(the World Health Organization)在香港的高级政策顾问朱迪•麦凯称,中国有60%的男医生是烟民,吸烟率居世界之首。

美国成年人中有20%是烟民,相当于4,580万人,而这个数字在中国是3.5亿,几乎占到全球烟民总数的三分之一。

香港15岁及以上的烟民占总人口的11.1%,在经济发达国家和地区中处较低水平。除了对烟草课以重税外,香港还禁止在酒吧、桑拿等室内区域以及主要公园和海滩吸烟。违例者将遭到1,500港币的罚款。

根据其他很多国家的历史发展趋势,烟草消费模式会随着时间的推移出现大幅下降,因为消费者对吸烟的健康危害认识在不断加深,同时控烟法规、烟草税、香烟包装上的健康警示和禁烟措施都在不断发展。

中国没有理由会成为例外。的确,2008年烟草企业为中国创造的税收达到4,500亿元人民币,还有约2,000万的烟农需要依靠烟草种植养家糊口。自1987年来,香烟销售一直是中国最主要的税收来源,而且2003年以来一直维持着高达2位数的增速。

但同时,中国每年约有100万人死于吸烟引发的疾病,与此相关的治疗费用最终会引起人们的重视。部分专家预测,到2030年,这一死亡人数将达到350万人。

随着认识的提高和禁烟规定的推进,越来越多烟民选择戒烟将是大势所趋。根据美国的一项调查,70%的成年烟民都有戒烟的打算,其中一半在过去12个月内尝试过戒烟,但成功率仅为6%。

特别是对长期吸烟的烟民来说,戒烟尤其困难,而这恰好会推动戒烟诊所、辅导课程和药物治疗(片剂、口香糖、戒烟贴、鼻腔喷雾、过滤器、电子香烟)市场的发展。

几年前的业内调查显示,全球戒烟市场的规模到2010年应达到26亿美元,而在发展中国家,未来5年(2011年至2015年)还将迎来每年13%的增长。这一预测的前提是中国目前的烟草消费模式不会出现大的变动。

而一旦戒烟在中国形成气候,上述估计无疑显得非常保守。

世界上生产戒烟药品的主要制药公司包括葛兰素史克(Glaxo SmithKline)、强生(Johnson & Johnson)、诺华(Novartis)和辉瑞(Pfizer)等。毫无疑问,中国企业无疑也会抓住这个商机。

同时,世界卫生组织于2011年10月宣布世界控烟中心将落户香港。该中心将汇集亚太地区的健康专家,接受香烟戒断技能的培训。

不要低估中国一旦形成戒烟潮可能会带来的投资潜力,因为这一天指日可待。

Future Profits Up in Smoke?

 
 Here’s a tip for long-term investors: in 10-15 years, China will be the biggest market in the world for quit-smoking clinics, medications, related products and services.

Smoking cessation will also a big niche market for Hong Kong’s booming medical tourism sector, which is already primarily geared to servicing mainlanders.

Before you conclude that this is a crazy notion, consider the facts.

There is no doubt that Chinese consumers are generally smart, well-informed shoppers, who enjoy vastly greater knowledge, mobility and personal choice today than they did before the Open Door and Reform era began.

But here’s the disconnect — the past 30 years have also seen a dramatic growth in tobacco production and consumption. China has become the world’s biggest producer and consumer of tobacco. State-owned China National Tobacco Corporation has nearly one-third of the global market share, far ahead of any international tobacco company.

This phenomenal growth in consumption has been enabled by consumers being poorly informed about the self-destructive health aspects of smoking, including the severe impact of second-hand smoke on people nearby, including one’s children and other loved ones.

Concerns about food safety, green issues, and healthier living have become predominant features in Chinese urban consumer psychology during the past 5 years. All indications show this trend growing rather than reversing.

Ignorance about the unquestionably dire health implications of cigarette smoking cannot continue forever. The medical evidence of smoking’s long-term damage to health is overwhelming, despite the protestations and lobbying of tobacco companies.

Three out of every ten cigarettes produced globally are smoked in the Chinese mainland. Out of every 100 mainland men, 67 are smokers, which is the highest ratio in the world, with the exception of Yemen and Djibouti.

Remarkably, 60% of male doctors smoke in China, which is the highest ratio in the world, according to Hong Kong-based senior policy advisor to the World Health Organization, Judith Mackay.

In the U.S., some 20% of adults, or 45.8 million people, smoke, versus some 350 million smokers in China. China claims almost one-third of the total smokers in the world.

In Hong Kong, smokers aged 15 and above number only 11.1% of the population, one of the lowest rates in the developed world. Apart from high taxes on cigarettes, Hong Kong has banned smoking in most indoor areas including bars and saunas, as well as most parks and beaches. Offenders face a fixed penalty of HK$1,500.

Based on the historical trends in many countries, cigarette consumption patterns drop dramatically over time, as consumers become better informed about health risks, and anti-smoking legislation, taxes on cigarettes, health warnings on cigarette packaging, and enforcement efforts gain momentum.

There is no reason why China should be any different. True, the tobacco industry paid an estimated RMB450 billion in taxes to the State in 2008; and some 20 million farmers depend to some extent on income from tobacco cultivation. Cigarette sales have been the nation’s top source of tax revenue since 1987, and they have been growing at a double-digit pace since 2003.

At the same time, the health care costs related to the estimated 1 million deaths in China per year from smoking-related diseases will eventually be taken into account. Some experts forecast this death toll will reach 3.5 million by 2030.

As awareness grows and anti-smoking rules gain traction, a higher percentage of smokers inevitably want to quit. According to one survey in the U.S., 70% of adult smokers want to quit. Half of these have tried to quit within the past 12 months; but only 6% succeeded.

Especially for longer-term cigarette addicts, quitting is difficult. That’s what drives the market for quit-smoking clinics, coaching, and medications (pills, gum, skin patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, electronic cigarettes, etc.).

According to one industry survey a few years ago, the quit-smoking market was poised to be worth US$2.6 billion globally in 2010, forecast to grow in the developing world at more than 13% per year from 2011-2015. This was assuming no big change in China’s tobacco consumption patterns.

When the quit smoking trend gains momentum in China, these forecasts will look very conservative indeed.

Key global pharma players with products in the quit-smoking niche include Glaxo SmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, etc.. Chinese companies will no doubt also seize the opportunity.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization announced in October, 2011, that Hong Kong would become host to its global center on tobacco control. The new center will bring health professionals from around the Asia-Pacific region to Hong Kong to be schooled in smoking-cessation skills.

Don’t underestimate the business potential when the anti-smoking wave gains momentum in China, as it undoubtedly will, one day before too long.


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