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The U.S. vaping crisis helped tank merger talks between Philip Morris International and Altria, a top PMI executive said Thursday.

PMI and Altria confirmed they were in merger talks in late August before calling off a potential deal in September. King told analysts on a call discussing the company’s third-quarter earnings the discussions were “a natural outgrowth” of Altria and PMI’s work together launching Iqos, PMI’s heated tobacco device, in the U.S.