NEW YORK – The U.S. tobacco giants Philip Morris and Altria are calling off merger talks and Juul’s CEO is stepping down with safety concerns over e-cigarettes intensifying.
The makers of Marlboro cigarettes said last month that they were in discussions to become a single company, more than a decade after splitting into two as lawsuits mounted.
Altria has exclusively sold Marlboro cigarettes and other tobacco brands in the U.S., while Philip Morris has handled international sales.
Philip Morris International Inc. CEO Andre Calantzopoulos said Wednesday that the companies will instead focus on launching IQOS in the U.S. IQOS is a heat-not-burn cigarette alternative made by Philip Morris.
Altria Group Inc. also announced that K.C. Crosthwaite will become JUUL’s new CEO, replacing Kevin Burns.
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