Three big retail chains have announced they will stop selling e-cigarettes amid growing health concerns and state regulation, such as Michigan becoming the first state to ban flavored vapes. Federal action also could be on the horizon.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, said late last month it would stop selling vape products at its stores and Sam’s Clubs due to “regulatory complexity” and “uncertainty.”
In a statement, Kroger said it’s “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 these products.”
Michigan’s ban on flavored e-cigarettes went into effect last week. At least two lawsuits have been filed to try to block state action.
The state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on Friday announced the first vaping-related death in Michigan. As of Oct. 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there have been 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarettes, with 18 deaths confirmed in 15 states. The deaths could be linked with black market marijuana products.