World’s Third-Largest Tobacco Company Keeps Losing Customers at Home

Japan Tobacco’s domestic sales have dropped every month since September 2016

Masamichi Terabatake, Japan Tobacco Inc.’s newest chief executive officer, already has a laundry list of obstacles to address just days after taking over the world’s third-largest tobacco company. A 28-year veteran of the company, Terabatake is facing tighter global regulations, competition to offer high-tech smoking devices and slowing cigarette demand. After being appointed in November, Terabatake said he wanted to focus on taking more market share in developed countries. The company gets about 19 percent of its business domestically in Japan, but its cigarette sales in the country have fallen for 15 consecutive months, according to a December filing.

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