Nearly two years after its stock collapsed amid an accounting fiasco, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. faces a host of lawsuits, a criminal investigation and declining sales. Meanwhile, efforts are under way in New York and Chicago to ban a key ingredient of its famous doughnuts, one that helps make the trademark treats so darn addictive.

Sounds a lot like the challenges faced by executives at Big Tobacco, and that’s just where Krispy Kreme has turned to for help.