The tobacco giant that just wants to quit and the gamers who can’t

Planet Business: 2017 sets aviation safety record, 2018 brings new trading floor highs

New York Stock Exchange trader Peter Tuchman, a familiar face in the financial media, dons his 2018 glasses as he sees out the old year. Photograph: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

New York Stock Exchange trader Peter Tuchman, a familiar face in the financial media, dons his 2018 glasses as he sees out the old year. Photograph: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

 

In numbers: Safe as jets

0

Number of commercial passenger jet crashes anywhere in the world in 2017, the safest year ever for commercial aviation, according to reports by the Aviation Safety Network and Dutch consulting firm To70. US president Donald Trump then spoiled this good news story by taking the credit for it.

79

Deaths last year from 10 fatal accidents involving airliners (but not passenger jets). This compared to 16 accidents and 303 fatalities in 2016.

36.8 million

Estimated number of passenger flights in 2017. Something to remember during the take-off Hail Marys.

Image of the week: New Year on Wall Street

New York Stock Exchange trader Peter Tuchman saw out 2017 in much the same vein as he began it – by adopting the kind of excited expression that makes him the most-photographed trader on the floor. (May he never retire.) It beckons to be an, ahem, interesting year for stock markets after a 2017 dubbed “almost absurdly good” by analysts at Morgan Stanley. On the first day of new year trading, the S&P 500 and the technology-heavy Nasdaq duly rose to fresh record highs. Bubble? What bubble?

Photograph: Andrew Kelly / Reuters.

The lexicon: Cord nevers

The “cord nevers” are a group of people – the majority of whom are under 35 – who have never subscribed to pay-TV packages, according to PwC’s latest global entertainment and media outlook report. This differentiates them from the “cord trimmers” who have opted for the “skinny bundles” offered by television providers, and the “cord cutters” who have dropped expensive pay-TV packages and replaced them with streaming services such as Netflix. Millennials spend “significantly less” of their “scarce money” than the generations that came before them and may never change those habits. “Millennials will probably eventually marry, have children and purchase homes in greater numbers,” said PwC optimistically. “But it seems unlikely they will adopt their elders’ habits when it comes to media consumption and spending.”

Getting to know: André Calantzopolous

“I firmly believe that a future without smoking can be a reality,” André Calantzopolous has told Greek newspaper Kathimerini, which as he admits himself may sound “odd” coming from the chief executive of Philip Morris International. The tobacco giant this week took out massive newspaper ads declaring “it wants to stop selling cigarettes” in the UK as it’s “our turn” to give them up. Oh, yeah? Well, not just yet – if it stopped selling cigarettes overnight, its rivals would simply carve up its market share, apparently. Calantzopolous is instead trying to popularise an alternative mentioned in the ad (alongside e-cigarettes): tobacco that is heated, rather than, say, burned, or as Lucky Strike once had it, toasted.

The list: “Gaming disorder”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is on the verge of including “gaming disorder” in its International Compendium of Diseases, having described such a thing in its proposed draft update to the publication. But how do you tell an enthusiastic gamer from someone who has a serious problem? It’s all a bit fuzzy, but this seems to be what WHO is getting at:

1. Priority play: Video games are taking “precedence over other life interests and daily activities” on a persistent or recurrent basis.

2. Lost control: The player exhibits “impaired control over gaming”, for example, the frequency, intensity and duration of play.

3. Escalating pattern: The gaming activity increases despite negative consequences for the player. (WHO also defines “hazardous gaming” as a pattern of gaming that increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual.)

4. Social issues: The behaviour pattern is of “sufficient severity” to cause “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning”.

5. On a loop: Abnormal gaming behaviour should “normally” be in evidence for at least 12 months “for a diagnosis to be assigned”.

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