Not so, tobacco debt, whose cash flows can be modeled assuming varying degrees of cigarette consumption declines, Barton said. Under a 1998 national settlement, the major tobacco companies agreed to make annual payments to the states in perpetuity to resolve their liability for health-care costs attributed to smoking. Some states and cities borrowed against the payments, which are based on cigarette shipments. Altria Group Inc. , estimated that domestic cigarette industry shipment volume decreased by about 3.5 percent in the first half of 2017. Moody’s Investors Service projects 80 percent of the securities won’t make scheduled payments based on historical declines of 3 percent to 4 percent in U.S. smoking. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposal in July to cut the amount of nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels cut tobacco bond returns 0.4 percentage point in the third-quarter, a potential buying opportunity, Barton said. Tobacco companies are expected to vigorously oppose the proposal. “Near-term, we don’t see a ban of nicotine in cigarettes," Barton said.
Volume 177 , 1 August 2017, Pages 268-276 Reward-related frontostriatal activity and smoking behavior among adolescents in treatment for smoking cessation Author links open overlay panel Kathleen A.Garrisona One of the first longitudinal fMRI studies of smoking cessation treatment in adolescents. Adolescents show increased non-drug reward-related brain activity pre- to post-treatment. Increases in reward-related brain activity were associated with smoking abstinence. Tobacco use is often initiated during adolescence and continued into adulthood despite desires to quit. A better understanding of the neural correlates of abstinence from smoking in adolescents may inform more effective smoking cessation interventions. Neural reward systems are implicated in tobacco use disorder, and adolescent smokers have shown reduced reward-related ventral striatal activation related to increased smoking. The current study evaluated nondrug reward anticipation in adolescent smokers using a monetary incentive delay task in fMRI pre- and post- smoking cessation treatment (n = 14). This study tested how changes in neural responses to reward anticipation pre- to post-treatment were related to reduced smoking. An exploratory analysis in a larger sample of adolescents with only pre-treatment fMRI (n = 28) evaluated how neural responses to reward anticipation were related to behavioral inhibition and behavioral activation scales. Adolescent smokers showed pre- to post-treatment increases in reward anticipation-related activity in the bilateral nucleus accumbens and insula, and medial prefrontal cortex, and greater increases in reward anticipation-related activity were correlated with larger percent days of smoking abstinence during treatment. These findings suggest that reduced smoking during smoking cessation treatment is associated with a “recovery of function” in frontostriatal responses to nondrug reward anticipation in adolescent smokers, although comparison with a developmental control group of adolescent nonsmokers is warranted.