Although there has been no official confirmation yet, rumours that tobacco giant Altria is in talks to take a minority stake in Juul have caught the attention of the vaping industry.
ECigIntelligence contacted both companies but both declined to comment on the news published in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago.
This possible development comes at a highly critical moment for the US vaping industry, faced with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commitment to tackle what it calls an “epidemic” of e-cig use among teens. And Juul has been one of the companies most affected by the federal agency’s enforcement actions.
The remarkable success of the California-based start-up has attracted the FDA’s attention – and it also seems to be behind Altria’s interest. The company whose brands include Marlboro, Parliament and Virginia Slims has been experiencing a decline in combustible cigarette shipments and now faces a possible US ban on menthol cigarettes.