Walmart to end e-cigarette sales as vaping illnesses mount

Walmart is discontinuing sales of e-cigarettes and other electronic smoking devices amid mounting concerns about potential health risks associated with their use, the company confirmed on Friday.

“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,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

The Arkansas-based retailer said it would no longer stock the products after selling through its existing inventory. The decision came days after the Trump administration proposed a ban on sales of vaping flavored vaping products.

Earlier this summer, Walmart changed its minimum age to buy tobacco products to 21 and noted it would stop selling some types of flavored e-cigarettes. Leading e-cigarette manufacturer Juul and its competitors have drawn scrutiny from federal officials in recent months for allegedly marketing their products to minors.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
WMT WALMART INC. 66.30 -0.43 -0.64%

Walmart shares traded slightly lower as of Friday afternoon.

More than 500 people have been diagnosed with lung diseases linked to the use of vaping devices. At least eight people have died from complications related to the disease, though health officials have yet to identify a definitive cause.

Several state and local governments, including Michigan and the city of San Francisco, have enacted bans on e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.