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Walmart to end e-cigarettes sales after vaping deaths

Walmart will stop selling e-cigarettes after reports of death across the country.

Customers buy items for school at Walmart. Associated Press

Walmart will no longer sell e-cigarettes at its stores.

Walmart announced Friday it will stop selling e-cigarettes after the rising reports of deaths related to vaping and e-cigarettes, according to CNBC. The company said it will eliminate e-cigarettes from its store once the current inventory runs out.

The ban comes after “growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty” over e-cigarettes, according to Walmart.

“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,” the company said in a memo to local managers. “We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory.”

The American Vaping Association criticized Walmart for banning e-cigarettes, though, according to CNBC.

“You know you are in the middle of a moral panic when big corporations like Walmart find it is easier to sell deadly combustible tobacco products than to sell harm reduction alternatives,” according to the AVA.

Widespread panic has emerged over e-cigarettes and vaping. At least eight people have died from illnesses tied to vaping. There have been deaths tied to vaping in Kansas, Indiana, Minnesota, California, Oregon and Illinois, according to The Washington Post.

There have been other illnesses tied to vaping, too. In fact, there have been 530 cases tied to severe respiratory illnesses in 38 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Walmart has responded to other political events over the last year. The company announced this month that it would stop selling short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used for military-style weapons, according to Axios.