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The US’ crackdown on vaping has wiped £7bn off the share price of The UK’s tobacco giants as panicked traders rushed to a sell-off the sector. Imperial Brands has lost £3.4bn of its market cap since Trump announces the ban, while fellow blue-chip component British American Tobacco saw £3.3bn wiped-off (The Telegraph). Big tobacco chiefs met with with senior health officials in Washington to discuss the future of the industry amid escalating turmoil in the vaping market(The Times).

The legal spat between the US commodities regulator, Kraft Heinz and Mondelez saw another defeat for the two fmcg giants yesterday, as appellate judges have halted an attempt by the two companies to meet the regulator in court to justify controversial statements about the companies’ grain trading. 

Last month Kraft Heinz and Mondelez reached a $16bn deal with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission to settle claims on manipulating wheat futures markets. The deal included an order limiting what the CFTC could say about the case with the two companies now complaining about the announcements made by the regulator, which they claim broke those terms (The Financial Times £). 

The number of empty shops on the UK’s high street has risen to a five-year-high, with one in ten now closed amid according to figures by the Local Data Company (The Telegraph). Surging business rates coupled with low consumer confidence have resulted in almost 12% of all UK high street shops standing empty in the first half of 2019 (The Guardian).

McDonald’s is the latest fast food chain to launch a plant-based burger following the success of rival Burger King’s meatless Whopper. McDonald has announced it will launch a “plant, lettuce, tomato” of PLT, made with Beyond Meat’s burgers. The trial will initially run for 12 weeks across 29 Canadian restaurants (The Telegraph). 

A new study by McGill University in Canada has discovered that the amount of microplastics shed by plastic tea bags is much higher that what previously thought. When dunked in a cup of coiling water plastic tea bags release around 11.6bn microplastics and 3.1bn smaller nanoplastic particles into the cup (The Guardian). The World Health Organisation said microplastics in drinking water ”do not appear to pose a risk” but warned that these findings were based on “limited information” and called for further research (The BBC).

Marks & Spencer chairman Archie Norman acquired almost £100k worth of the company’s shares as they tumbled to their lowest level in nearly two decades (The Daily Mail).

Travel retail operator SSP Group saw its shares tumble yesterday as it warned it faced challenges from economic uncertainty and cuts to airlines’ capacity (The Times). 

The Times has an opinion piece on minimum alcohol price claiming it both works and makes economic sense (The Times).

Research published by The British Medical Journal showed that since the introduction of the MUP in Scotland consumption fell by 1.2 units a week on average (Sky News).