Kroger joins Walgreens, Walmart to end the sale of e-cigarette products

News of vaping-related illness has been hot in the last few months. And now, grocery chain Kroger is banning the sale of e-cigarette products in its stores

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It’s the latest retailer to end vape sales, joining Walmart and Rite Aid, which ended sales early this year. Walgreens also said it would end sales of e-cigarettes and related items.

“Kroger is discontinuing the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products, or e-cigarettes, at all store and fuel-center locations due to the mounting questions and increasingly complex regulatory environment associated,” with them, the company said in a statement, adding that it would “exit this category after selling through its current inventory.”

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E-cigarettes, which exploded into popularity in the last few years, have suddenly come under a blitz of public scrutiny, as vaping-related illnesses have claimed at least 18 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There’s another 1,080 probable cases across 48 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the agency noted.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called vaping illness an “epidemic” and the Trump Administration has said it would launch a federal ban on flavored e-cigarettes.

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New York University researchers published the first study Monday linking e-cigarettes directly to lung cancer.