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Walmart will stop selling tobacco in some stores

Walmart stores in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico will stop selling cigarettes

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A Walmart logo forms part of a sign outside a Walmart store.

A Walmart logo forms part of a sign outside of a Walmart store in Walpole, Mass., on Sept. 3, 2019. Walmart Inc. will no longer be selling cigarettes in some U.S. stores, a complicated move since tobacco is a money driver for many retailers. The nation’s largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, said the removal is on a store-by-store decision based on the business and particular market.

Steven Senne, Associated Press

Walmart is planning to stop the sales of tobacco products in some stores in the U.S.

Driving the news: For now, the company hasn’t said how many of its stores will be affected, although it added it won’t be exiting the product category completely.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the stores undergoing the change are in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico.

Details: The company has added newly designed self-checkout counters and grab-and-go food options in place of the previously available products by Marlboro and Newport.

Walmart has put 5,000 stores in the U.S. In 2019, it raised the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 and stopped selling e-cigarettes entirely, per CNN.

What they’re saying: A spokesperson told the news outlet that this “business decision” to end tobacco sales in some stores is “a result of our ongoing focus on the tobacco category.”

State of play: This news comes after senators urged Walmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid and Dollar General to stop selling tobacco products in 2019.

Flashback: CVS is another retailer that stopped selling cigarettes in 2014, costing it $2 billion in revenue at the time. The health care provider stated that selling those products was “inconsistent with our purpose.” Target, on the other hand, stopped selling them in 1996, per The Hill.