Altria and Philip Morris end plans to reunite

An outbreak of lung disease among vapers has sparked concerns and questions about e-cigarettes. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains what vapers are really inhaling.

Posted: Sep 25, 2019 10:09 AM
Updated: Sep 25, 2019 3:15 PM


Tobacco giants Altria and Philip Morris, which were once one company, have ended their discussions to reunite in a colossal merger that could have been worth more than $200 billion.

Shares of Philip Morris, which sells cigarettes internationally and owns the iQOS e-cigarette brand, rose 6% following the announcement while Altria, which sells Marlboro and other tobacco brands in the United States, was down more than 1%.

In related news, Juul said that Altria's senior vice president K.C. Crosthwaite would be leaving Altria to take over as CEO of Juul, the controversial vaping company that Altria bought a nearly 35% stake in last year for nearly $13 billion. Crosthwaite is replacing Juul co-founder Kevin Burns as CEO.

Altria and Philip Morris had announced in late August that they were considering a merger. Altria and Philip Morris broke up in 2007. At that time, Altria also spun off food giant Kraft, which was since merged with Heinz.

Both tobacco companies are grappling with how to rejuvenate sales growth at a time when a growing number of cigarette smokers around the world are quitting because of the well-documented links to cancer and heart disease.

The hope was that e-cigarettes would rejuvenate sales at a combined company.

Philip Morris has repeatedly said it hopes to one day to no longer sell traditional cigarettes. It plans to rely instead on smokeless technology, such as its iQOS electronic cigarettes, which heat tobacco but still contain nicotine.

Altria, in addition to its Juul stake, already has a deal with Philip Morris to sell iQOS devices in the United States. But there have been several reports of illnesses and even deaths tied to vaping.

As a result of the mounting backlash, Walmart announced last week that it would stop selling e-cigarettes.

The White House is also cracking down on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes.

According to a plan proposed by the Food and Drug Administration two weeks ago, the government will temporarily ban non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products such as mint and menthol, which many have argued are geared toward teens.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued its support for the new regulations. CDC director Robert Redfield said in a statement that the FDA rules are 'an important step in response to the epidemic of e-cigarette use among our nation's youth, and will help protect them from a lifetime of nicotine addiction and associated health risks.'

Still, Philip Morris and Altria said Wednesday they remain committed to their iQOS partnership.

Philip Morris CEO André Calantzopoulos said in a statement that 'the companies have agreed to focus on launching IQOS in the US as part of their mutual interest to achieve a smoke-free future.'

Altria chairman and CEO Howard Willard also touted the iQOS deal, but he lamented the fact that a merger was off, saying that he 'believed the creation of a new merged company had the potential to create incremental revenue and cost synergies.'

Altria softened the blow for investors somewhat though. The company raised its earnings outlook for 2019 slightly. The company is also continuing to try and diversify beyond traditional cigarettes as well. Altria owns a 45% stake in Canadian cannabis company Cronos and is a significant investor in beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604509

Reported Deaths: 7638
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1249671779
Ramsey52513897
Dakota46840471
Anoka42774458
Washington27428291
Stearns22557225
St. Louis18138313
Scott17551136
Wright16379149
Olmsted13399102
Sherburne1202095
Carver1067448
Clay826192
Rice8202110
Blue Earth762644
Crow Wing681795
Kandiyohi667985
Chisago619952
Otter Tail585884
Benton582998
Goodhue483874
Douglas475581
Mower470533
Winona461351
Itasca459763
Isanti440064
McLeod430661
Morrison424762
Beltrami407861
Nobles407650
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347033
Pine334923
Nicollet331245
Mille Lacs311854
Brown307840
Le Sueur297326
Cass286232
Todd285633
Meeker263443
Waseca238023
Martin235332
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182446
Redwood176539
Houston174616
Cottonwood167124
Wadena163323
Fillmore157610
Faribault154719
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
Sibley146810
Aitkin138937
Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122712
Pipestone116726
Yellow Medicine114920
Pope11306
Murray107110
Swift106918
Koochiching95418
Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
Lake83220
Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48193
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 371101

Reported Deaths: 6053
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58263640
Linn21221339
Scott20308248
Black Hawk16157312
Woodbury15240230
Johnson1462385
Dubuque13510211
Dallas1129199
Pottawattamie11228174
Story1071648
Warren583791
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554095
Sioux517574
Webster515894
Muscatine4882106
Marshall486976
Des Moines467672
Wapello4338122
Buena Vista426940
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382356
Marion366076
Jones300957
Henry294637
Bremer288461
Carroll287152
Boone268634
Crawford268240
Benton259855
Washington257351
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232651
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212071
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198735
Page194522
Buchanan194033
Cedar192423
Hardin187544
Fayette186643
Wright186040
Hamilton181951
Harrison180073
Clayton171057
Butler166335
Madison164619
Mills163824
Floyd163442
Cherokee159338
Lyon158841
Poweshiek157036
Allamakee152952
Hancock150334
Iowa149824
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138913
Grundy137233
Emmet135841
Jefferson133535
Shelby131837
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129649
Appanoose129049
Mitchell126643
Chickasaw124917
Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113623
Howard105022
Montgomery103638
Clarke100924
Keokuk96732
Monroe96431
Unassigned9540
Ida91535
Adair87332
Pocahontas85822
Davis85225
Monona82931
Osceola78916
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7618
Taylor66812
Fremont6269
Decatur6169
Ringgold56424
Van Buren56318
Wayne54423
Audubon53311
Adams3444
Rochester
Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 60°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 67°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 63°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 64°
Charles City
Cloudy
63° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 63°
More storm chances this week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Working through post-pandemic living

Image

Sean's Weather 6/21

Image

One local Rochester FC athlete competes locally and internationally

Image

Century track and field sophomore Maddy Habberstad making some noise at the state tournament

Image

Dining on Father's Day

Image

Rochesterfest activities cancelled because of weather

Image

Ryan's Evening Forecast (6/20/21)

Image

Aaron's Evening Forecast (6/20/21)

Image

Aaron's Sunday Forecast (6/20/21)

Image

Ryan's Morning Forecast (6/20/21)

Community Events