AP Health Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Altria Group swung to a loss in the third quarter as it wrote down the value of its investment in e-cigarette maker Juul, which has become the leading target of a political backlash against vaping.
Richmond, Virginia-based Altria bought roughly a third of Juul for $13 billion last December. On Thursday the company said it would take a $4.5 billion write-down on its investment in the San Francisco company.
Altria shares fell $1.13, or 2.35%, to $44.83 in afternoon trading.
Since last year, Juul has been hit by new federal and state investigations into its marketing amid an explosion of underage vaping among teenagers. Separately, an outbreak of lung injuries tied to vaping has led to new government warnings and restrictions around e