January 30, 2020 / 12:10 PM / 21 days ago

Altria books $4.1 billion charge on Juul investment

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Altria Inc said on Thursday it recorded a $4.1 billion charge in the fourth quarter for its investment in Juul Labs Inc, nearly three months after taking a $4.5 billion charge in the e-cigarette maker.

The Richmond, Virginia-based cigarette maker said the charge was mainly due to the increased number of legal cases pending against Juul and the expectation that the number will grow.

E-cigarette companies have been heavily scrutinized by health regulators with India, Thailand and China imposing bans of varying degrees on vaping products amid rising fears of their safety and growing evidence that teen vaping is on the rise. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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