40.09 -0.03 (-0.07%)
After hours: 7:10PM EDT
|Bid||40.01 x 1000|
|Ask||40.09 x 1800|
|Day's Range||39.31 - 41.04|
|52 Week Range||39.31 - 66.04|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.38|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||11.98|
|Earnings Date||Oct 31, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||3.36 (8.23%)|
|1y Target Est||54.71|
A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers said on Thursday they are forming a caucus to combat the "epidemic" of youth vaping, as cases of lung illness tied to vaping have risen and President Donald Trump has pushed for a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. "We must ban flavors in a comprehensive manner," said U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, a Democrat co-leading the new Congressional Caucus to End the Youth Vaping Epidemic, along with Republican Representative Peter King and Democratic Senator Dick Durbin. The lawmakers cited health experts who say flavors like mango and mint from popular e-cigarette companies like Juul Labs Inc have caused the surge in youth vaping.
Cronos' line of CBD products earned a live endorsement from Cramer, who is a spokesperson for the American Migraine Foundation. "It is the only thing that works," Cramer said. Tobacco company Altria Group Inc (NYSE: MO) bought a 45% ownership stake in Cronos, and the relationship has been "extremely helpful," Gorenstein said.
[Editor's note: This story was previously published in March 2019. It has since been updated and republished.]Often, when analysts or bloggers talk up the potential of marijuana stocks, the focus is on the consumer side of the industry. But some of the best stocks in the pot sector may be medical marijuana stocks.Indeed, it's on the medical side where growth is likely to be largest in the near term. Canada did legalize recreational marijuana last year, but investors promptly sold the news in response. Almost a year later, stocks like Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Tilray (NASDAQ:TLRY) have recently touched 52-week lows.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsU.S. legalization is likely to be a long slog. Attitudes are mixed in Europe -- but even in legalized markets, black market (and untaxed) operators will be able to take share.Meanwhile, approval of medical marijuana (in the U.S. and elsewhere) seems to be moving at a faster pace. In such a highly regulated market, black market and even smaller producers likely will be shut out. Quality and consistency will be key. Here, scale will matter. And those companies that win early have the best chance of becoming market leaders -- and providing big gains for investors. * 8 Dividend Stocks to Buy for a Recession As always -- and particularly in this space -- investors need to mind the risks and size of their positions accordingly. But for investors who see medical marijuana stocks as the next big thing, these three are the best stocks to buy for investors enamored with weed. Medical Marijuana Stocks to Buy: Charlotte's Web (CWBHF)Source: Kevin McGovern / Shutterstock.com Charlotte's Web (OTCMKTS:CWBHF) has become one of the leading players in CBD oil (cannabidiol). And though Charlotte's Web products are made from hemp -- at least for now -- instead of marijuana, the stock still looks like one of the best plays in the sector.InvestorPlace's Matt McCall named CWBHF (the stock also trades on the Canadian Securities Exchange under ticker CWEB) as his pick for our list of the best stocks for 2019. McCall's case makes some sense. CBD oil sales are soaring, and Charlotte's Web is a market leader. As McCall pointed out, the federal farm bill in the U.S. provided a catalyst by legalizing hemp.So far this year, Charlotte's Web stock has outperformed most recreational players, gaining 65% year-to-date. But a nearly 30% pullback from August highs creates another opportunity for an attractive entry point. Second-quarter earnings appear to have disappointed some investors, but revenue growth of 45% year-over-year and 15% quarter-over-quarter suggest the growth story remains intact.There is a risk here from U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation, but the agency seems unlikely to be a roadblock to Charlotte's Web stock's growth. With so many customers yet to try CBD oil -- and so many existing users attached -- market growth should be huge. And while CWBHF isn't cheap from a valuation standpoint, its position as a market leader should allow it to grow into its valuation. Cronos (CRON)Source: Shutterstock Like most major cannabis plays, shares of Cronos (NASDAQ:CRON) have declined of late. CRON stock has dropped by 50% since early March.The declines may continue. CRON, like many of its peers, still isn't cheap. And it still isn't profitable. But there's a lot to like here, particularly for investors more interested in the medical side of the industry than the consumer side.To be sure, investors see Cronos as a consumer play. The $1.8 billion investment by tobacco giant Altria (NYSE:MO) brings in not only cash, but Altria's advertising expertise and distribution reach.But investors can't ignore that Cronos is a medical marijuana stock as well. In fact, it's that business that drove the majority of its revenue until recently. And it also has given the company a beachhead in multiple markets around the world, from its home market of Canada to Germany, Israel and Poland. * 7 CBD Stocks to Buy That Are Still Worth Your Investment Dollars Cronos is looking to export medical marijuana via a joint venture in Israel. Its partnership with Gingko Bioworks aims to biologically manufacture expert cannabis strains. Those strains could be used for consumer products -- but they might also have medical applications as the effect of cannabinoids is better understood.The broader case for CRON stock is that the company isn't looking to be a producer, where management sees prices and profits likely to be minimal as supply increases. If that strategy works, it will allow Cronos to profit from higher-margin derivative sales to consumers. But that high-level expertise will also make Cronos a potential leader on the medical side as well. Aurora Cannabis (ACB)Source: ElRoi / Shutterstock.com Like CRON stock, Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) has a "falling knife" chart. ACB stock touched a seven-month low at the beginning of the month, and a rebound was undercut by a disappointing fiscal fourth-quarter report on Thursday.Given that Aurora likely will need to raise capital relatively soon, patience is probably advised here.But from a long-term standpoint, there's an attractive case here. Aurora's global reach is probably greater than that of any cannabis play at the moment. Medical sales drove just 30% of net cannabis revenue in Q4, but that figure should rise as efforts in Germany and Latin America drive growth.Aurora will in part be a consumer play, as is the case for most marijuana stocks at this point. But its medical business is already large - and growing. In fact, Aurora already serves nearly 90,000 medical marijuana patients worldwide. As that figure rises, so will Aurora's revenue. Once profitability follows -- which should be next year -- the long slide in ACB stock may finally reverse.As of this writing, Vince Martin has no positions in any securities mentioned. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 10 Stocks to Buy That Wall Street Expects to Soar for the Rest of 2019 * 7 Value Stocks That Are Flying Under the Radar * 6 Mouth-Watering Fast Food Stocks for Growth Investors The post 3 Medical Marijuana Stocks to Buy appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Investing.com - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Thursday its enforcement arm is involved in a criminal probe of e-cigarettes, The Washington Post reported.
A House subcommittee responsible for overseeing consumer product investigations looked into Juul's practices in June and said in a letter delivered to the company that it has not fully complied with requests, CNBC reported. Lawmakers were interested in viewing a list of schools who financially benefited from an anti-vaping curriculum and details related to Altria's 35% stake. "Those documents have not been produced," Subcommittee Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Illinois, was quoted by CNBC as saying in an MSNBC interview.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- There are few quotations that have stuck with me over the years like the one delivered by the anti-tobacco scientist Stanton Glanz back in 2006, when I was writing an article about Altria Group Inc. Asked what his ultimate goal was, he didn’t say it was to get people to stop smoking. He said it was “to destroy the tobacco companies.”I thought of that line on Monday, the day after Purdue Pharma LP filed for bankruptcy, and the day ahead of the first court hearing before the respected U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain, in White Plains, N.Y.The filing was inevitable: No company can withstand over 2,600 lawsuits from states, counties, cities and Native American tribes all across the country.What was not inevitable was Purdue’s proposed solution. As part of its bankruptcy filing, Purdue unveiled a settlement proposal that would set up a trust to give cash to those affected by the opioid crisis it helped trigger with its primary product, the painkiller OxyContin. The money, which Purdue estimated at around $10 billion, would come from the company’s present and future profits, as well as $3 billion from Purdue’s owners, heirs of founders Arthur, Mortimer and Raymond Sackler. Some 24 states were backing the settlement, along with five territories and over 1,000 counties. But other states are opposing the settlement, including Massachusetts. In an op-ed article in The Washington Post on Monday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey explained why. The proposed settlement, she wrote, “doesn’t hold the company or its owners accountable.” After documenting Purdue’s undeniable role in the crisis — “We uncovered a scheme to get more patients on opioids, at higher doses, for longer periods of time,” she wrote, even as the Sacklers were pocketing billions — she declared: “Accountability means making the Sackler family reach into their own pockets. It means telling the whole truth. It means shutting down Purdue for good.”That’s just crazy. The idea that shutting down Purdue will somehow be a societal good is exactly like saying that destroying tobacco companies is more important than getting people to stop smoking. The goal should be to provide money that government entities can use to combat the crisis. It should be to develop pain-relief drugs that are abuse resistant. It should be to find ways to manage severe pain without relying on drugs that addict and kill. Shutting down Purdue might give some attorneys general a notch on their belts, but it won’t help bring the opioid crisis to an end.At the hearing in White Plains on Tuesday — a sedate affair that mainly established the rules under which Purdue would continue to operate while in bankruptcy — the company’s lead attorney, Marshall Huebner of Davis, Polk & Wardwell, outlined the Purdue plan.A trust would be set up, controlled by the plaintiffs, that would dole out money to communities and individuals who had legitimate claims of being harmed by opioids. The trust would take control of Purdue, meaning that those who are now suing Purdue would effectively own the company. It would continue to manufacture OxyContin, but the owners would also be able to direct the company towards developing drugs to counteract opioid addiction. Meanwhile, Purdue profits would be sent to the trust.In the near term, Huebner said, the company’s goal was maximizing and preserving its value. That meant stopping the millions it was spending on lawyers — and the millions more it would be spending if it had to start trying cases. It meant retaining scientists and other key employees who were wondering whether they should jump ship. He described what Purdue was doing as “radically de-risking the situation,” in the sense that those suing the company were being guaranteed every penny Purdue could generate without the risk of losing at trial. Purdue, meanwhile, was eliminating the risk of being put out of business through litigation, which wouldn’t leave anywhere near the amount of money the plaintiffs were now going to get.“Purdue is not shielding itself from these claimants,” Huebner said. “It is giving itself to these claimants without them ever having to prevail in the litigation.” He added: “It is very much the best case for the country. Pursuing cases outside Chapter 11 benefits no one.”The real bone of contention between those who back the settlement and those who oppose it isn’t so much what will happen to Purdue as it is what will happen to the Sacklers. Huebner made much of the fact that the family would be selling another pharmaceutical company it owns to help raise the $3 billion. But that is exactly what galls critics like Healey: selling a company to raise money is different from taking money out of your pocket and handing it over to the people who are suing you.At the hearing, Purdue’s lawyers went out of their way to assure the court and the critics that the company was disassociating itself as much as possible from the Sacklers. No Sackler family member remained on the board. No Sacklers would get their legal fees paid by the company. No Sacklers would get any of the retention bonuses and other money the company was spending to hold onto key employees. Be that as it may, it seems pretty clear that critics like Healey won’t be satisfied unless the settlement inflicts more pain on the family.Right now, the bankruptcy has stopped all litigation against Purdue, including from the government entities that are opposing the settlement. Over the next few months, Judge Drain will have to decide whether the lawsuits brought by those who have not agreed to settle can continue. As Bloomberg News pointed out on Tuesday, while Drain could put all litigation on hold, the law tends to favor attorneys general who want to keep suing. If he allows the suits to continue, the settlement will fall apart. As the company put it in court papers, “Absent this protection [from lawsuits], the fundamental goal of this or any bankruptcy will have been thwarted.”A better approach would be to encourage the various government entities to forge a settlement with Purdue that excluded the Sacklers. Then they could continue suing family members, or craft a different settlement with them that took away a significant portion of the $13 billion they are said to be worth. Now that there are no Sacklers on the Purdue board, this strikes me as reasonably realistic.In 1981, Johns Manville, an insulation and roofing manufacturer facing thousands of lawsuits for covering up the dangers of asbestos, filed for bankruptcy. It was the first company to employ the technique Purdue hopes to use: It set up the Manville Trust and seeded it with 75 percent of the company stock. The trust pays out claims to this day. (Johns Manville, no longer associated with the trust, is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway.)Here’s the kicker, though. It took seven years for Johns Manville to emerge from bankruptcy and for the Manville Trust to be established. Even then, tens of thousands of people who had asbestos-related cancer had to wait another three, four or five years to get any compensation. And they received only pennies on the dollar.The entities affected by the opioid crisis — whether states, cities, tribes or individuals — can’t wait that long to get relief. They need it now. The settlement that was negotiated between Purdue and the plaintiffs will get them that money. That’s enough reason the settlement on the table is the best way forward, even if it doesn’t satisfy the soul.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jonathan Landman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Markets may not be thrilled with the idea of Altria Group and Philip Morris International recombining, but Citigroup argues that a merger between the tobacco giants is looking more likely.
Investing.com - Shares of tobacco company Altria Group (NYSE:MO) set a new 52-week low of $40.82 Wednesday after India announced a ban on e-cigarettes as a global backlash against vaping gathers pace.
(Bloomberg) -- India became the latest country to ban electronic cigarettes only days after Juul Labs Inc.’s products vanished from online Chinese marketplaces, a sign Asian nations may be no refuge for the industry from an escalating crackdown in the U.S.India’s government announced an executive order Wednesday banning the sale and production of all e-cigarettes, echoing growing concerns worldwide over health risks associated with the smokeless nicotine devices popular with teenagers.“Why are we debating if it’s more harmful or less? It is harmful. It is addictive,” said Preeti Sudan, India’s health secretary. “The entire next generation will be going down the drain if we don’t control it now.”Originally touted as a safer alternative to wean people off cigarettes, e-cigarettes have come under widespread attack in the U.S., especially for their appeal among youth. India’s decision follows similar prohibitions in about 27 other countries including Australia, Singapore and Brazil and comes on the heels of halted online sales of Juul’s products in China, the world’s largest tobacco market.‘Strong’ ActionDespite increasing global curbs on vaping, some nations view e-cigarettes as viable alternatives to smoking, a leading cause of preventable death. And though cigarette companies are getting into the electronic nicotine-delivery business -- including most notably a nearly $13 billion investment in Juul by Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. -- a vaping health scare could cause sales of the tobacco giants’ most important products to jump.Shares of cigarette makers in India gained on news of the ban.U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to “do something very, very strong” after the recent outbreak of a mysterious lung disease linked to vaping that has killed six people in the U.S. and afflicted hundreds of others. Lawmakers in the U.S. are also investigating the marketing of Juul, America’s top-selling e-cigarette brand.U.S. Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, told Juul Chief Executive Officer Kevin Burns in a letter dated Tuesday that the company had failed to produce all the documents requested by a House Oversight Committee and that further delay could result in the company receiving a subpoena.Juul only started selling its nicotine vaporizers online in China last week. Its official online stores disappeared on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Tmall and JD.com Inc. by Tuesday, prompting speculation that official action may be on the way.Juul wasn’t given a reason for why its products were pulled, according to a person familiar with the matter, but said in a statement it wants to make them available again.No Reasons GivenThe latest developments in India and China come as a blow to vaping companies that were setting their sights on Asia, where 65% of the world’s cigarettes are sold, as increased pressure in the U.S. forces them to look for growth elsewhere. India alone has 266.8 million tobacco users, according to a WHO factsheet.It isn’t clear if China plans to ban or enforce stricter scrutiny of e-cigarettes or vaping devices. The country’s National Health Commission -- a body responsible for health and sanitation -- announced it was devising legislation for such products in July, arguing the “hazards of e-cigarettes should be highly valued.”The Chinese health commission also said labels describing nicotine concentration on many such products are vague, and can lead to excessive consumption by users.Michael R. Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, has campaigned and given money in support of a ban on flavored e-cigarettes and tobacco.Some nations, however, view vaping as a lesser evil than smoking.Public health officials in the U.K., the biggest market in Europe for the products, endorse vaping as a way to wean people off smoking -- the prevailing view across Europe, where authorities are more sanguine about the effects of vaping.E-cigarettes allow users to satisfy their cravings by inhaling vaporized nicotine rather than tobacco smoke. Their popularity has soared in recent years driven by candy-like flavorings, sleek devices and savvy marketing.The U.S. Surgeon General called it an “epidemic,” after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters that 5 million American kids said they’ve vaped this year. The Food and Drug Administration has been investigating the safety of e-cigarettes after reports of seizures.(Updates with U.S. lawmaker’s letter to Juul Labs in eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Carolynn Look and Shruti Srivastava.To contact the reporters on this story: Ari Altstedter in Mumbai at firstname.lastname@example.org;Bibhudatta Pradhan in New Delhi at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rachel Chang at firstname.lastname@example.org, Bhuma Shrivastava, Timothy AnnettFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Congressional Democrats on Wednesday threatened to subpoena Juul Labs if the e-cigarette maker does not provide documents relating to its products and marketing practices, as a House panel looks into whether the company deliberately targeted children. The House subcommittee ordered Juul, which is privately held, to produce the documents by Oct. 1, or "we may have no choice but to seek compulsory process," Krishnamoorthi wrote in a letter to the company on Tuesday. Juul and other vaping companies have come under increased scrutiny amid multiple lawsuits, several deaths and possibly hundreds of illnesses tied to e-cigarettes, which are used to inhale nicotine vapor without smoking.
New York became the second state to ban flavored e-cigarettes on Tuesday after its Democratic governor called for emergency action in response to concerns about their rising use among teens and a nationwide spate of lung illnesses. Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday called for an urgent meeting of the state's Public Health and Health Planning Council to consider the proposed ban. The panel on Tuesday voted to adopt the prohibition, which applies to all flavored e-cigarettes besides menthol, Cuomo's office said in a statement.
U.S. e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc said on Tuesday its products were not currently available on e-commerce web sites in China, days after it entered the world's single-largest market for tobacco consumption with over 300 million smokers. "While JUUL products are not currently available on e-commerce Web sites in China, we look forward to continued dialogue with stakeholders so that we can make our products available again," the company spokesperson said, without disclosing any reason for the halt of sales. Juul, in which tobacco giant Altria group owns a 35% stake, is facing a regulatory crackdown and increased government scrutiny in the domestic market.
While the vast majority of our Ultimate Stock-Pickers are not dividend investors, a handful of them--Amana Trust Income AMANX , Columbia Dividend Income LBSAX , Oakmark Equity & Income OAKBX , and Parnassus Equity Income PRBLX --focus more heavily on income-producing stocks in their pursuit of investment return. Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B has spoken highly of companies that return capital to shareholders and is not against investing in and holding higher-yielding names, with three of Berkshire's top five holdings--wide-moat rated Wells Fargo WFC , Bank of America BAC , and Coca-Cola KO --accounting for about one third of the insurer's equity portfolio and yielding more than the S&P 500. As you may recall from previous articles, when we screen for top dividend-paying stocks among the holdings of our Ultimate Stock-Pickers, we try to find the highest-quality names that are currently held with conviction by our top managers.
Altria Group Inc. (MO), BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc. (BMRN), Pennant Park Investment Corp. (PNNT), and Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RIGL) have declined to their three-year lows Continue reading...
Benzinga has examined the prospects for many investor favorite stocks over the past week. Bullish calls included the iPhone maker, a Big 3 automaker and a restructured industrial company. Bearish calls ...
Cronos Group (NASDAQ:CRON) stock fell 5.2% on Sept. 9 as a result of investors' concerns about the cannabis company's focus on vaping products. Those offerings have come under severe scrutiny in recent weeks, due to the death of six people from lung disease related to their use. Source: Shutterstock InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsCronos isn't the only cannabis company to have a vested interest in the success of vaping pens, but at the moment, it appears to be the biggest player taking it on the chin as a result of the recent health scare. If you own CRON stock, now is the time to be thankful that Altria (NYSE:MO) owns 45% of the cannabis company, with an option to buy an additional 10% in the future. Here are three reasons why that's the case. * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession Altria Understands Lungs Better Than MostWho would have more knowledge about how our lungs operate than a company whose products are directly responsible for harming them?Altria would not have made a $12.8 billion investment in Juul Labs or a $1.8 billion investment in CRON stock if it didn't understand the health risks associated with vaping. MO has been down this road many times with cigarettes. The fact that President Trump and his administration are trying to crack down on the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, while understandable, isn't really crucial for CRON stock. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 480,000 Americans die each year due to smoking. That's a staggering amount. However, we haven't seen cigarettes outlawed as a result of that sad situation. In fact, the FDA is currently trying to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes, but the tobacco companies will continue to fight the agency's legal efforts for years to come. Flavored e-cigarettes will likely take a long time to ban. The reality is that Altria understands what's at stake when it comes to vaping and e-cigarettes. They, along with the rest of the industry, are not going to go quietly into the night. Remember, the NRA isn't the only trade group in the U.S. with a powerful lobby. CRON Stock and a Potential MergerIn recent weeks, Altria's been negotiating with Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), the owners of the Marlboro brand outside the U.S., to reunite after 11 years as separate companies. Last October, before Altria bought up a big chunk of CRON stock, I suggested that Philip Morris should make a play for one of Canada's big cannabis companies. "The tobacco companies were born to manufacture and sell the various by-products of the cannabis plant which includes marijuana and hemp," I wrote at the time. "The fact that only now are they considering a move -- after legalization in Canada -- suggests they've been irreparably scarred by years of tobacco litigation."Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azer recently suggested that the crackdown on vaping flavoring might be the nudge CRON and MO needed to officially tie the knot. After an acquisition, CRON would be controlled by a company with $54.7 billion pf annual revenue and $14.3 billion in free cash flow, providing it with plenty of capital to fight any potential opposition to cannabis vaping in the future. Altria Has a Beverage UnitCronos isn't the only cannabis company with a big focus on vaping. Aurora Cannabis (NYSE:ACB) is focusing on vape pens and edibles while ignoring cannabis beverages.I believe that's a mistake. Perhaps not a lethal one, but a mistake nonetheless. The older people get, the less they want to be messing with their lungs,. That's why I think cannabis-infused drinks will win in the end. Altria, although not nearly as involved in the alcoholic beverages industry as it once was, still owns premium wine producer Ste Michelle Wine Estates. In addition, as a result of Anheuser-Busch's (NYSE:BUD) $100-billion acquisition of SABMiller in 2016, Altria owns 10% of BUD stock.It's hard to imagine Budweiser turning down an opportunity to partner with Atria and Cronos to produce cannabis-infused drinks on a global basis. As long as Altria continues to own a big chunk of Cronos Group stock, I don't think investors need to overreact to the latest health concerns surrounding vaping. At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Big IPO Stocks From 2019 to Watch * 7 Discount Retail Stocks to Buy for a Recession * 7 Stocks to Buy Benefiting From Millennial Money The post 3 Reasons Altriaas Investment in Cronos Group Stock Is Positive for CRON appeared first on InvestorPlace.
, premised in part on vaping’s continued popularity in the US. In a matter of weeks, doctors in 33 US states have connected at least 450 cases of lung disease to e-cigarette use. Alex Azar, his health secretary, blamed them for a vaping “surge” among American school children.