Can Altria Actually Win by Attacking Cigarettes? | Business Markets … –

For decades, Altria Group (NYSE: MO) has relied on the success of its Marlboro brand and other lines of cigarettes to power the bulk of its sales and profits. Yet the company has faced litigation, regulatory action, and consumer pressure from various groups about the health impacts of smoking. Now, a lawsuit from nearly 20 years ago has Altria and its domestic tobacco industry peers poised to launch promotional attacks on its own products.

That might sound like a key concession that could lead to the end of the tobacco industry as investors have known it. Yet Altria is more optimistic. The tobacco giant instead sees the move as helping it launch a new future for the company as it shifts its focus toward a more sustainable path forward.

Image source: Altria.

What Altria is doing

Altria said that it has agreed with British American Tobacco (NYSE: BTI) and other domestic cigarette companies about how to handle a court order against the industry. The court order requires the companies to

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