Walmart has announced it will stop selling e-cigarettes as the number of vaping-related deaths and illness continues to rise.
The long-term effects of e-cigarette use are still unknown, and while some users have argued vaping is better than smoking there are increasing concerns about the impacts the devices are having.
So far eight deaths have been linked to the use of e-cigarettes, while over 500 other users have developed vaping-related lung illness, CBS report.
Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, cited growing concerns when announcing their decision to stop selling the products.
In a statement, the company said:
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 Sams Club U.S. locations.
Walmart will officially exit the market after selling its remaining inventory of e-cigarettes.
Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, responded to Walmarts announcement on Twitter.
Walmart has taken a responsible step given the worsening youth e-cigarette epidemic and the growing number of severe lung disease cases associated with e-cigarette use.
We urge them to make this policy permanent and to go further by ending sales of all tobacco products, including cigarettes.
.@Walmart has taken a responsible step given the worsening youth e-cigarette epidemic and the growing health concerns associated with e-cigarette use.
We urge them to go further by ending sales of all tobacco products, including cigarettes. https://t.co/cODmi00J7Q
— Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (@TobaccoFreeKids) September 20, 2019
While many consider Walmarts move a positive one, others have criticised the company for the fact they still sell regular cigarettes.
Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, said:
You know you are in the middle of a moral panic when big corporations like Walmart find it easier to sell deadly combustible tobacco products than to sell harm-reduction alternatives.
Full AVA statement on @Walmart's decision to no longer sell vaping products.