Walmart to stop sales of electronic cigarettes in its U.S. stores: company memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Walmart Inc <WMT.N> told its staff on Friday the retailer was discontinuing the sale of e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery products at its U.S. stores.

In an internal memo seen by Reuters, Walmart said growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty were behind its decision.

"We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory," the company said.

Last week, the Trump administration announced plans to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from store shelves in a widening crackdown on vaping, as officials warned that sweet flavors had drawn millions of children into nicotine addiction.

President Donald Trump and top U.S. officials also expressed concern about surging teenage use of e-cigarettes at a time when health officials are investigating hundreds of reports of vaping-related lung disease and some deaths. nL2N2620YW]

In May, Walmart raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in all its stores and said it would stop selling fruit-flavored e-cigarettes. The move came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration called out the company for illegally selling tobacco products to minors.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Tom Brown)

09/20/2019 17:59

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