Walmart announced Friday that they will stop selling e-cigarettes, amid the growing cases of severe lung illness linked to vaping across the U.S. that have left eight people dead.
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.
“Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products at all Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. locations,” the company said in a statement.
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The company’s announcement comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control said that the number of reported lung illness cases had soared to 530, up from 450. Later that day, Missouri health officials confirmed that a man in his mid-40s had died of severe lung illness from vaping, becoming the eighth such death in the U.S.
Walmart had already stopped sales of all “fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems” in May and raised the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 in an effort to slow teen vaping.
Several states and cities have begun to limit sales of e-cigarettes. Michigan became the first state to ban sales of flavored e-cigarettes at the beginning of September, and New York followed with a similar ban on Tuesday. San Francisco took the broader step of stopping the sales and distribution of all types of e-cigarettes in June, though it will not take effect until next year and the makers of Juul, the highest-selling e-cigarette, are fighting the ban.
RELATED: Juul CEO Says Lung Illnesses Tied to Vaping Are ‘Worrisome’ but Has No Plans to Remove Product
The Trump administration also announced plans to remove flavored e-cigarettes from the market, though they have not moved forward with any legislation.
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are running concurrent investigations in to e-cigarettes to determine what is causing the outbreak of severe lung illnesses. They said Thursday that they have not yet been able to pinpoint the issue.
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