Turkey Bolsters Cigarette Company's Profits

Altria, the company formerly known as Philip Morris, is separating its shrinking U.S. cigarette operation from its growing international cigarette business. Profits are coming in from countries like Turkey, where as many as 60 percent of adult men smoke.

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STEVEN INSKEEP, host:

As Renee mentioned, one of the triggers for Dow Jones' decision to re-jigger the index is the business restructuring at Altria. The company formerly known as Philip Morris is separating its shrinking U.S. cigarette operation from its growing international cigarette business. And that business gets the last word in business today.

Profits are coming in from countries like Turkey, where by one estimate, nearly 60 percent of adult men smoke. Cigarette consumption is also rising, though anti-cigarette campaigners have managed to convince the government to impose a ban on smoking in public places, like bars and restaurants, which has some people in Turkey distraught, even defiant. One three-pack-a-day construction worker told a reporter that smoking is his only joy.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

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