Washington, DC - American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement in response to reports that Altria could acquire an ownership stake in Juul Labs:

“The union of Altria, the world’s largest cigarette company, and Juul, the world’s leading manufacturer of electronic cigarettes, would be a match made in tobacco heaven. The combination of Altria’s sordid history of spending billions to entice kids to smoke, and Juul’s breathtaking success at hooking a new generation of children on nicotine, could mark an historic setback for lifesaving tobacco control efforts.

“Both companies claim to want to reduce harm from tobacco use, but it’s hard to imagine a global cigarette maker promoting the responsible use of electronic devices that are ostensibly intended to help adults quit smoking. Recent actions by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to crack down on the sale of flavored tobacco products – including traditional cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and cigars – are even more urgent in light of a potential partnership between Altria and Juul. So, too, is the immediate need for the FDA to go further to prevent our nation’s children from becoming prey for traditional and electronic cigarette companies alike.”