Oct 8, 2019

Altria's stock rises despite Kroger, Walgreens e-cigarette bans

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Image

Kroger and Walgreens announced they will stop selling e-cigarettes amid rising deaths and illnesses linked to vaping, becoming the latest retailers to do so after Walmart and Rite Aid stopped sales earlier this year.

Why it matters: Despite the bad news for vaping, Juul maker Altria's stock rose on Monday as investors continued to bet its recently launched Iquos product will succeed where electronic cigarettes have failed.

What it means: "Iqos isn’t a vaping device or a cigarette," CNBC's Angelica LaVito writes. "It heats tobacco, but doesn’t burn it, and is designed to give users the same rush of nicotine as smoking with fewer toxins. It also comes amid public panic over an outbreak of a deadly lung disease that’s killed at least 18 people. U.S. health officials have traced the illnesses to vaping."

  • “It’s perfect timing,” Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Lavery said, according to CNBC. “I don’t think they would have expected some consumer uncertainty around vapor coinciding with the launch of Iqos in the U.S.”

Go deeper: Walgreens, Kroger become latest retailers to halt e-cigarette sales

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Regulatory gaps are exacerbating the youth vaping crisis

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The delay in implementing comprehensive regulations for e-cigarettes has contributed to a growing crisis of vaping-related illnesses and deaths across the U.S. and poses particular risks to young adults.

The big picture: E-cigarette use by American teenagers has surged, and the dangers are heightened by unsafe black market vaping devices and THC cartridges. But a recent flurry of regulatory activity by states looks set to continue, with federal action following shortly.

Go deeperArrowOct 11, 2019

Altria to take $4.5 billion writedown on Juul investment

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Altria Group is expected to take a $4.5 billion writedown on its original $12.8 billion investment in e-cigarette maker Juul, AP reports.

The big picture: Altria, which owns Marlboro and other nicotine products, acquired a 35% stake in Juul in 2018, which has since dropped in value amid rising health concerns and deaths related to vaping.

Go deeperArrowOct 31, 2019

64 reported dead from vaping-related lung illness

Photo: Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

64 people have died from a lung injury associated with e-cigarette use in 28 states and the District of Columbia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports as of Feb. 4.

What's new: Nationally, most vaping-related patients with data on how they sourced products reported obtaining THC-containing products from "informal sources," per the CDC. The agency recommends users should consider no longer vaping THC products, rather than its original claim to refrain from e-cigarettes.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 11, 2020 - Health