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经济学人:卷烟工业 强弩之末

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Business

商业报道
The cigarette industry
卷烟工业
Running out of puff
强弩之末
Big tobacco firms are maintaining their poise, but quietly wheezing
烟草巨头们都保持姿态,蓄势待发。
CIGARETTE smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action.
吸烟在美国是一项引起足够重视的健康危害,以保障适当的补救措施。

It was 50 years ago this month that America's surgeon-general sounded that warning, marking the beginning of the end of cigarette manufacturing—and of smoking itself—as a respectable activity.

这是50年前的这个月美国卫生部部长发出的警告。这一警告的发出标志着卷烟制造业以及吸烟这一行为本身不再是一项让人尊敬的行为。
Some 20m Americans have died from the habit since then.
从那时起,大约有2千万美国人死于吸烟。
But advertising restrictions, smoking bans and stigma have had their effect: the proportion of American adults who smoke has dropped from 43% to 18%; smoking rates among teenagers are at a record low.
但是不论是广告限制或是严禁吸烟的标志都还是起到了作用:吸烟的美国成年人比例已经从43%下降到了18%,青少年的吸烟率也处于历史新低,
In many other countries the trends are similar.
这种趋势在其他国家也是相似的。
The current surgeon-general, Boris Lushniak, marked the half-century with a report on January 17th, declaring smoking even deadlier than previously thought.
现任卫生部部长,鲍里斯在1月17日发布的报道对过去的50年作了总结,指出吸烟比预期的更加致命。
He added diabetes, colorectal cancer and other ailments to the list of ills it causes, and promised end-game strategies to stamp out cigarettes altogether.
在吸烟导致的疾病里,他加入了糖尿病,直肠癌和其它病症,并且提出了终结策略来完全杜绝香烟。
Were that to happen America's three big tobacco firms, Altria, Reynolds and Lorillard, could be snuffed out, too.
美国三大烟草公司,奥驰亚,雷诺和罗瑞拉德烟草公司会因此而被扼杀吗?
Public-health officials plot the same fate for multinationals that supply other markets.
卫生部的官员们为供应其它市场的跨国公司也安排了相同的命运。
The hit list includes Philip Morris International, which along with Altria makes Marlboro, the top-selling global brand; Japan Tobacco; and British American Tobacco and Imperial Tobacco of Britain.
这其中包括菲利普莫里斯国际公司,它和奥驰亚一起打造了万宝路这一全球最畅销的品牌,除此之外还有日本烟草公司、英美烟草公司和英国的帝国烟草公司。
They are a hardy bunch, unlikely to be spooked.
这些公司都是硬骨头,不太容易被震慑到。
But the methods they have used to withstand a half-century of battering by regulators may be losing potency.
但是他们采取的与监管部门周旋了半个世纪的方法可能会失去效力。
In the rich world, where the economy is sluggish, smokers are trading down to cheaper puffs.
在经济低迷的富裕国家,吸烟者开始选择便宜的产品进行交易,
The regulatory climate in developing countries is becoming more hostile.
发展中国家的监管环境也变得更加严苛。
New technologies such as e-cigarettes promise to deliver nicotine less riskily.
一些新的技术,比如电子香烟承诺提供危害风险更小的尼古丁。
Big tobacco firms may master them, but it would be a radical shift, akin to converting the car industry from internal-combustion engines to battery power.
大的烟草公司可能掌握这项技术,但是这将是一个根本性的转变。类似于汽车产业中从内燃机到电池电源的转变。
David Adelman of Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, does not see anything that's upending the conventional tobacco business model.
摩根士丹利投资银行的大卫阿德尔曼表示,并没有看到任何的颠覆了传统的烟草商业模式,
But the model needs tweaking.
但模型需要调整。
Some reasons for Mr Adelman's confidence are sound. Advertising bans and the industry's pariah status deter would-be competitors.
阿德尔曼先生有这样的信心是有理有据的,广告禁令以及烟草业所处的低贱地位都将阻止潜在竞争者的出现。
When cigarette-makers raise prices, smokers cough up.
当卷烟制造商提高价格的时候,烟民们就咳嗽起来。
Global consumption keeps rising, thanks largely to population growth in poorer countries.
由于贫困国家人口的快速增长,全球消费量不断上升。
The cigarette giants pamper investors with big dividends and share buy-backs; they have flocked to tobacco shares.
烟草巨头们放任投资者获得丰厚的分红以及股票回购,使得投资者纷纷涌向烟草股。
But the going is getting tougher.
但是这种发展趋势已是举步维艰。
This month health officials in China, home to more smokers than any other country, called for a ban on smoking in public places.
中国作为拥有比其他任何国家更多烟民的国家于本月由卫生部的官员发布了禁止公共场所吸烟的禁令。
That would mainly affect state-owned China Tobacco, which has a near-monopoly.
这将主要影响到在行业中几乎处于垄断地位的中国烟草国有企业。
But multinationals' shares wobbled anyway: the proposed crackdown could portend tighter regulation elsewhere.
但是跨国公司的股份也是摇摆不定:打击的提议可能会预示着更为严格的监管。
Britain's government, after some wavering, may now go ahead and copy Australia's requirement for cigarettes to be sold in ugly, scary plain packs.
英国政府在几番举棋不定后最终决定采取与澳大利亚同样的做法,在烟草的包装上采用印有丑陋恐怖图案的普通包装。
Such pleasure-pinching regulation strikes at one of the main ways cigarette companies boost profits: converting smokers to pricier brands.
这种pleasure-pinching监管方式主要打击的是烟草公司获取利润的其中一种方式:促使吸烟者选择价格更高的品牌。
Premiumisation is still happening in developing countries, where incomes are rising.
消费品质优化仍然发生在那些收入增加的发展中国家。
But elsewhere smokers are turning to cheaper brands or rolling their own cigarettes.
但是在其他地方烟民们开始转而选择低价品牌或是自己卷烟。
Many smokers will not trade back up once the economy improves, largely because smoking and advertising bans have robbed the habit of its air of glamour.
当经济有所好转时,许多烟民也不会改变他们的选择,这很大程度上是因为吸烟和烟草广告的禁令已经夺走了烟草香味一贯的魅力。
Euromonitor International, a research firm, forecasts that everywhere except in Asia and the Middle East prices will rise less from 2012 to 2017 than they did during the previous five years
欧睿国际预测除了亚洲和中东地区外,从2012年到2017年烟草价格的上涨将低于过去5年来价格的上涨。
Shane MacGuill of Euromonitor sees in all this a very serious threat to the long-term health of the tobacco industry.
欧睿国际的巴蒂尔认为这些对于烟草业长期的健康发展是一个严重的威胁。
This is spurring a quest for safer methods of supplying smokers with their nicotine fixes.
这将促使该行业烟民们以更加安全的方式提供尼古丁。
Most of the hype is about e-cigarettes, which give users a hit of vapour infused with nicotine but none of the other, nastier ingredients of tobacco smoke.
这其中最有可能的方式就是电子香烟,这种香烟主要提供的是尼古丁蒸汽而不含其它物质,特别是烟草中的有害成分。
In America, the fastest adopter, sales have jumped from nearly nothing five years ago to at least 1 billion in 2013.
在美国最先采用这种方式的厂家,5年来其销售量实现了从零开始的激增,截止2013年已经达到至少10亿美元。
At first, it looked as if e-cigarettes might lure smokers from the big tobacco brands to startups such as NJOY.
起初的时候,电子香烟似乎已经诱导烟民们从大的烟草品牌转向诸如NJOY的新兴公司。
But incumbents have been quick to see the threat.
但是公司们也都迅速的意识到了这种威胁。
Lorillard acquired Blu, now the biggest American brand, in 2012.
罗瑞拉德烟草公司于2012年收购了蓝光这一现今最大的美国品牌。
Altria and Reynolds are expected to launch e-cig ventures nationwide this year.
奥驰亚集团和雷诺预计今年将在全国范围内推出电子香烟业务。
Imperial recently acquired the e-cigarette operations of Dragonite, a Chinese firm that pioneered the technology.
帝国烟草公司最近收购了一家名为叁龙的中国公司,因为该公司率先掌握了该项技术。
Though not the first movers, tobacco companies have bigger war chests, more knowledge of smokers' habits and better ties to distributors than the newcomers.
虽然不是起步最早的,但是烟草公司比起新进的公司来说更具实力,它们更了解烟民们的习惯也有更多的分销渠道。
Some pundits reckon Americans will puff more e-cigarettes than normal ones within a decade, but tobacco folk are sceptical.
一些专家预测在未来的十年里,美国人将消费更多的电子香烟,但是烟民们对此却持怀疑态度。
E-cigs account for just 1% of America's cigarette market.
在美国的烟草市场,电子香烟只占到了1%的份额。
In Europe 7% of smokers had tried vaping by 2012 but only 1% kept it up.
在欧洲,有7%的烟民都试过了这种 电子烟雾,但是只有1%的人到2012年还在使用。
PMI has higher hopes for a new type of cigarette, which heats tobacco rather than burning it.
PMI公司更希望有一种全新的香烟,这种香烟只是加热烟草而不点燃。
Such cigarettes could deliver fewer toxins than conventional sticks and more pleasure than mere vapour.
这种香烟比起普通香烟产生的毒素更少,而与电子香烟的烟雾相比又能使人更加愉悦。
PMI says it will invest up to 500m in a factory in Italy to make them.
PMI公司表示它们将投入5亿欧元到意大利一家生产这种香烟的工厂。
Earlier efforts to hook smokers on heated tobacco flopped, so there is no assurance that PMI's versions will succeed.
早期为了使烟民们使用加热烟草的努力都以失败告终,因而不能保证PMI公司的这一思路能得以实现。
And no one knows what sort of restrictions regulators will eventually place on reduced risk products, including e-cigarettes.
并且每人知道对于包括电子香烟在内的降低风险产品会出台什么样的监管措施。
If they can manage the transition to less harmful smokes, and convince regulators to be sensible, the tobacco giants could keep up the sort of performance that has made their shares such a fine investment over the years.
如果这些公司能实现向低危害的烟草的转变,并且说服监管机构意识到这种转变。那么这些烟草巨头们将能有实力继续为他们的投资者们提供丰厚的分红。
But some analysts are not so sure.
但是一些分析人士对此却不那么肯定。
Many tobacco firms are struggling to deliver the consistency of the earnings-per-share model we've seen in the past, says David Hayes of Nomura. If that persists, investors may fall out of love with the industry.
野村公司的大卫表示许多的烟草公司都在挣扎着想要继续沿用以前烟草按股数收益的经营方式。如果它们坚持,那么它们的投资者们可能会失去对该行业的兴趣。
A half-century after the surgeon-general's alarm, they, and incorrigible puffers, are its last remaining friends.
从卫生部部长发出警告的半个世纪以来,这些公司最后的朋友就只剩那些已经无药可救的烟民们了。
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respectable [ri'spektəbl]

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n. 品格高尚的人
adj. 值得尊重的,人格

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decade ['dekeid]

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n. 十年

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confidence ['kɔnfidəns]

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adj. 骗得信任的
n. 信任,信心,把握

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global ['gləubəl]

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adj. 全球性的,全世界的,球状的,全局的

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brand [brænd]

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n. 商标,牌子,烙印,标记
vt. 打烙印,

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previously ['pri:vju:sli]

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adv. 先前,在此之前

 
plain [plein]

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n. 平原,草原
adj. 清楚的,坦白的,简

 
quest [kwest]

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n. 探索,寻求
v. 寻找,搜索

 
poise [pɔiz]

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n. 平衡,姿势,镇静,悬空 vt. 使 ... 平衡,

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