Juul pays $40M in North Carolina vaping lawsuit

Altria's fair value stake in Juul has dropped to $1.5B

North Carolina has won its vaping case against e-cigarette maker Juul in a $40 million settlement. 

Attorney General Josh Stein called it a "big victory" in a tweet. 

"As a result of the court order, we are requiring Juul to change the way it operates — no new flavors, strong age verification, and no marketing to kids — and it must pay NC $40m to help kids addicted to nicotine quit and to prevent others from starting," he wrote in a tweet. 

Shares of Altria, which owns a stake in Juul, fell on the news. As of March 31, 2021, the fair value of Altria’s Juul investment was $1.5 billion. Altria paid $12.8 billion for a 35 percent stake in the e-cigarette maker in November 2018.

ALTRIA FORCED TO TAKE WRITE-DOWN ON JUUL STAKE

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MO ALTRIA GROUP, INC. 47.79 +0.06 +0.13%

"This settlement is consistent with our ongoing effort to reset our company and its relationship with our stakeholders, as we continue to combat underage usage and advance the opportunity for harm reduction for adult smokers," Juul said in a statement provided to FOX Business. "Importantly, we look forward to working with Attorney General Stein and other manufacturers on the development of potential industry-wide marketing practices based on science and evidence. In addition, we support the Attorney General’s desire to deploy funds to generate appropriate science to support North Carolina’s public health interventions to reduce underage use." 

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"We seek to continue to earn trust through action. Over the past two years, for example, we ceased the distribution of our non-tobacco, non-menthol flavored products in advance of FDA guidance and halted all mass market product advertising. This settlement is another step in that direction," the company added. 

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