Perhaps as a result of the recent massive lawsuit settlements faced by the infamous vape manufacturer, Juul is in early talks with three tobacco giants Philip Morris International Inc (PM.N), Japan Tobacco Group (2914.T) and Altria Group Inc (MO.N), over an investment deal.
Earlier this month it was reported that Juul has had to be bailed out by board members and is planning to lay off about 400 people, in a bid to avoid bankruptcy. Subsequently, has recently revealed the Wall Street Journal, the manufacturer is in talks with three tobacco giants for a potential sale, strategic investment, licensing and distribution deal.
Given its share in Juul and the fact that over the years Juul has been plagued by lawsuits, adverse health claims and accusations of targeting younger consumers, in October 2021 Altria stock (NYSE: MO) dropped by 3% and was at one point trading close to $49 per share. To this effect, further ongoing talks between the two companies fell apart last September due to a potential bankruptcy filing. However talks have now been resumed.
Juul and teen vaping
Meanwhile, a study recently published in Pediatrics, alleges that the sharp increase in Juul use has reversed decades of progress in declining tobacco use. Titled, “Daily E-cigarette Use and the Surge in JUUL Sales: 2017–2019,” the study concluded that over a million teens started vaping from 2017 to 2019. However the authors did not differentiate between vaping and tobacco use, and therefore do not take into account that the increase in vaping has decreased smoking rates.
Infact, analyzing cross-sectional data from the CDC’s National Youth Tobacco Survey data between 1999 and 2020, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have recently found that cigarette smoking amongst teens has consistently decreased in parallel with an increase in vaping.
The research team found that while the use of e-cigarettes has drastically increased since 2014 and is the most commonly used nicotine or tobacco product among middle and high school students, this has led to a sharp decrease in the use of more harmful combustible tobacco products.