Tobacco company Altria has confirmed in a recent announcement that it is going to take a $4.5 billion write-down in its investment in the e-cigarette company Juul. Altria, one of the world’s leading tobacco producers and marketers went for a 35% stake in Juul last year when it invested a sum of $12.8 billion.
The e-cigarette market has, as of late taken a severe beating due to a surge in cases of deaths and illnesses caused by vaping. The company faced allegations pointing at its policy to specifically target teens and young adults into the vaping habit. K.C. Crosthwaite, who worked as Altria’s chief growth officer replaced Kevin Burns as the new CEO of Juul back in September.
The e-cigarette company was recently sued by a previous executive who accused the company of shipping a large number of contaminated vaping pods. The lawsuit also claimed that Juul executives go for similar strategies used by major tobacco companies which involve making their users addicted to their products. A number of US states have restricted the sales of flavored e-cigarettes which are popular among teens.
This week’s update by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that there have been about 1,888 reported cases of vaping related illnesses in the US. This points to a tremendous rise from last week’s figure of 1,604 cases. Reports of people dying from such illnesses have increased to a total of 37, reported in 24 different states. However, a significant number of people facing lung injury also report of vaping THC-based products.
CDC said in a statement, “No one compound or ingredient has emerged as the cause of these illnesses to date; it may be that there is more than one cause of this outbreak. Many different substances and product sources are still under investigation.”
John King is the Editor-in-Chief of News Fior. He focuses on Business, Commodities, personal investments and the stock market. John completed his bachelor’s degree in journalism\ John is a native of Washington DC but now lives in New York.