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. There’s also value in certain zero-coupon tobacco bonds trading at discounts of more than 50 percent to accreted value that may be refinanced, said Ben Barber, who manages Goldman Sachs Asset Management’s $5.2 billion high-yield muni fund. The fund returned 8.2 percent through the third quarter and had 8.8 percent of assets in tobacco debt at the end of August. Nuveen stumbled on its investment in FirstEnergy Solutions, the power-generation unit of FirstEnergy Corp. The Akron-based owner of coal-fired and nuclear plants aims to exit the generation business and restructure FES’s debt. Nuveen owns about $300 million of secured and unsecured FirstEnergy Solutions bonds with a market value of $193 million. Dreyfus doesn’t hold FirstEnergy debt or bonds issued by Puerto Rico or the U.S.
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The new policy is in response to a systemwide CSU Executive Order issued in April. Chancellor Timothy White directed that all 23 campuses be smoke and tobacco-free September 1st. Right now, there are 73 designated smoking areas at Cal Poly. Student Ellie Vutova says too many students smoke. She believes the new policy is a good idea. "Hopefully it will curb their bad habits but honestly, I'm sure they might just smoke anyway," said Vutova. We came across several smokers who did not want to be on camera but said they do not agree with the policy and think it should be their own choice whether they want to smoke. In a statement to KSBY, the university said, in part: "If compliance remains a challenge after an extensive education and outreach program, the university reserves the right to institute fines under Assembly Bill 795." Smoking, vaping, and the use of tobacco will also be prohibited in all personal vehicles on campus property, sidewalks and campus residences. "It's nice that there's such a big push to end smoking," Vutova concluded.