Tobacco Industry Fiscal effects from Surgeon General Report in 1964

The report was issued on Saturday, January 11, 1964 to minimize the effect on the stock market and to maximize coverage in the Sunday papers.

On Monday, January 13th, 1964, it was the first trading day after the U.S. Surgeon General reported that smoking is hazardous to human health.  The news effected many North Carolina businesses, as many publicly traded tobacco companies were located in North Carolina at the time.

R.J. Reynolds of Winston-Salem closed the trading day gaining 25 cents to close at $42.75 on 127,500 shares, making it the most active stock of the day.  Durham based American Tobacco Company stocks closed unchanged at $28.50 per share while Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company closed with shares trading slightly lower.  Greensboro based P. Lorillard Company and nearby Richmond, Virgina based Philip Morris, Inc. also closed with shares down a hair.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the solid stocks reflect “investors’ belief that the Federal report…probably won’t have a major impact on cigarette smoking.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 14, 1964, pp. 8, 24.

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