The maker of Marlboro cigarettes is making a $12.8 billion bet on the e-cigarette startup Juul

Juul announced Thursday that Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, invested $US12.8 billion into the e-cigarette startup, good for a 35% stake.

“We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes by investing $US12.8 billion in JUUL, a world leader in switching adult smokers,” said Altria CEO Howard Willard in a press release.

“We have long said that providing adult smokers with superior, satisfying products with the potential to reduce harm is the best way to achieve tobacco harm reduction. Through JUUL, we are making the biggest investment in our history toward that goal. We strongly believe that working with JUUL to accelerate its mission will have long-term benefits for adult smokers and our shareholders.”

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