Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens to stop selling vape products

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    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.”

    Now both Walgreen’s and Kroger announced this week that they will follow suit. Rival CVS Pharmacy never sold vaping products, USA Today reports.

    State reports first death linked to vaping

    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.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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