Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores

Walmart to stop selling e-cigarettes at its stores

The nation's largest retailer said Friday that it will stop selling electronic cigarettes at its namesake stores and Sam's Clubs in the USA when it sells out its current inventory.

Walmart Inc. will stop selling e-cigarettes in its USA locations as the country grapples with a string of vaping-related deaths.

President Donald Trump has proposed a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and state and local officials are also considering varied regulations around e-cigarette sales.

The Trump administration announced on Sept 11 that similar measures would be enacted on the federal level, amid increasing reports of severe lung disease among young people who vape.

NY state health officials voted Tuesday to carry out Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive action to ban sales of most flavored e-cigarettes.

The announcement comes months after Walmart phased out the sale of fruit- and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes at its stores and raised the minimum age for tobacco purchases to 21.

It was unclear whether the illnesses were related to legal or illicit vaping products, but officials cautioned against buying street drugs. The plan would ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes, as well as prohibit e-cigarette manufacturing on city property.

The superstore, which also owns Sam's Club, said that they will sell the devices until their stock runs out, and they will not repurchase more.

The retail giant cited concerns over the more than 500 suspected illnesses linked to vaping in the U.S. when it announced it will no longer sell e-cigarettes. Walmart, which has 5,000 USA locations, is the country's largest retailer.

The New York State Department of Health identified "Dank Vapes" and "Chronic Carts" as products containing Vitamin E acetate, a thickening agent in THC oil that has been a focus in its investigation into the illnesses.

"We are in desperate need of facts", Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, told reporters in a phone call.

Cases of the vaping-related lung disease have been reported most often in patients who had vaped products with THC, the key psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Target says it doesn't sell electronic cigarettes. CVS stopped selling all tobacco products in 2014.

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