Marlboro maker slammed by Juul investment, takes $4B charge

Marlboro maker slammed by Juul investment, takes $4B charge
FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2018, file photo Juul products are displayed at a smoke shop in New York. The company that makes Marlboro cigarettes will take a $4.1 billion hit from its investment in Juul. Altria took a 35% stake in the e-cigarette company at the end of 2018 at a cost of almost $13 billion. The Richmond, Va., company on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020 cited burgeoning legal cases that it expects to grow. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The company that makes Marlboro cigarettes will take a $4.1 billion hit from its investment in Juul.

Altria took a 35% stake in the e-cigarette company at the end of 2018 at a cost of almost $13 billion. The Richmond, Virginia, company on Thursday cited burgeoning legal cases that it expects to grow.

Since October, the company said the number of legal cases against Juul have spiked 80%. A wave of vaping illnesses and deaths have raised concerns about the products. The outbreak of vaping-related lung injuries continues, but new cases are on the decline.

More than 2,500 cases of vaping illness have been reported by all 50 states. There have been 54 deaths and more deaths are under investigation.