By Sarah Nassauer
Walmart Inc. will stop selling all e-cigarettes in its U.S. stores, citing regulatory uncertainty around the vaping devices after the White House announced plans to ban most flavors.
The world's biggest retailer said it would stop carrying the devices after it winds down its current inventory of e-cigarettes. It carries a variety of e-cigarette brands such as Blu and market leader Juul.
"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 Walmart spokeswoman said.
In May Walmart said it would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 in all stores and would stop selling fruit-flavored e-cigarettes, amid pressure from regulators to curb use by children and teens. Walmart's decision to halt all sales was earlier reported by CNBC.
President Trump announced plans last week to ban all flavored e-cigarettes, including mint and menthol, citing a surge in underage vaping. The move poses a major threat to a fast-growing market dominated by Juul Labs Inc.
At the same time, health officials are investigating hundreds of lung ailments linked to vaping in recent weeks. They haven't identified the precise cause, but most of the patients have reported vaping marijuana products. Others say they have only vaped nicotine products.
So far, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 530 confirmed or probable cases of vaping-associated pulmonary illnesses. There have been eight deaths.
Write to Sarah Nassauer at email@example.com
Corrections & Amplifications
This article was corrected at 5:07 p.m. ET because an earlier version incorrectly stated that Walmart Inc. sells Njoy brand e-cigarettes. The retailer doesn't sell the brand.