officially, yesterday Altria bought 35% of JUUL in an all cash deal, for a total of a whopping $12.8 billion. In a stunning counter current vape hysteria narrative statement, Altria CEO Howard Willard said; "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." He continued; "We are taking significant action to prepare for a future where adult smokers overwhelmingly choose non-combustible products over cigarettes."
Wow. Just wow. In spite of the fact we could all see this coming from the lack of action taken by the FDA after the infamous Gottlieb and JUUL meetings, this move marks a red letter day where we will evidently see the true control of big tobacco. Now is the crucial time to start paying attention to the main stream narrative, if it stays the course of the anti-vape hysteria we've been seeing, then perhaps the leash isn't as tight as we assumed. More than likely though, we'll see from today forward an entire drop off of even the mention of "vaping epidemic" if not a clean sweep up under the rug about anything eLiquid or vape related whatsoever.
Another interesting thing to note about this deal is that Altria agreed to give JUUL top-shelf space so JUUL pods are displayed alongside Marlboro cigarettes. If that doesn't speak flagship product placement I don't know what does. Of course along with this JUUL will gain all of the distribution and logistics Altria has, and probably a giant force of sales that covers nearly a quarter of a million retail locations.
These are strange and interesting times we live in, that's for certain. The two key things to pay attention to in the future will be the media narrative, and to see if this move breaks big tobaccos purchasing curse as it's previous attempts to regain control over the ground they have been losing to the vape industry have been complete failures. So much for being an enemy of big tobacco, et tu JUUL?