Critics are slamming Walmart for dropping vaping products while continuing to sell cigarettes, but the company may have just avoided a regulatory nightmare (WMT)

Business Insider Finance 2 months ago

Walmart said Friday that it plans to stop selling all vaping products amid "regulatory complexity" and "uncertainty" around e-cigarettes.

The decision has prompted praise as well as some backlash on social media, with critics questioning why Walmart would exit the e-cigarette category while continuing to sell cigarettes and other tobacco products.

After all, e-cigarettes have been tied to eight deaths in the US, while traditional cigarettes are blamed for roughly 480,000 deaths per year nationally, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

So how could Walmart remove e-cigarettes, when traditional cigarettes remain in stores?

Let's take a closer look at Walmart's statement on the decision.

"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 Friday. "We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory."

This statement makes no explicit mention of health concerns. While questions around the health effects of vaping were undoubtedly considered as part of this move, the main driver behind this decision seems to be the threat of new regulations on the sales of e-cigarettes.

Lawmakers are pushing to ban e-cigarettes

A group of senators sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday pushing the agency to ban e-cigarettes while it reviews their safety. President Donald Trump has proposed a nationwide ban on flavored e-cigarettes, and state and local officials are also considering varied regulations around e-cigarette sales.

Complying with all these potential new laws could be a regulatory nightmare for Walmart, which has more than 5,300 stores in the US.

To top it all off, the e-cigarette market is relatively small for Walmart, a Walmart spokesperson told Business Insider.

In the end, Walmart likely determined that any lost sales aren't worth the potential regulatory headache associated with continuing to sell e-cigarettes.

If that's the case, then exiting the e-cigarette category was more of a business decision for Walmart than a political statement for or against the vaping industry and the health effects of its products.

Walmart is also taking measures to restrict cigarette sales

This isn't meant to suggest that Walmart is unconcerned with the health effects of e-cigarettes or traditional cigarettes. The company has taken some recent actions restricting the sales of both.

In July Walmart raised the minimum age for tobacco purchases from 18 years old to 21 years old.

The company also announced in May that it would discontinue the sale of fruit- and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes, which research shows are preferred by minors. At the same time, Walmart announced employee training programs designed to prevent the sale of tobacco products to minors.

To some critics, however, that's not enough. And now that Walmart has announced it will stop selling e-cigarettes, they are pushing the company to drop all tobacco products.

Source link
Read also:
Business Insider › Finance › 2 months ago
Walmart is ending sales of vapes and related products as vaping comes under scrutiny. "Given the growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes, we plan to discontinue the sale of electronic nicotine...
Reuters › Finance › 2 months ago
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.
RT › Finance › 2 months ago
The US retailer giant Walmart Inc has announced it will no longer sell electronic cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery products at its US stores due to reports of vaping-related lung disease and deaths. Read Full Article at
Business Insider › Finance › 1 month ago
Kroger will stop selling all vaping products, the company said Monday. Kroger cited regulatory concerns as the reason for stopping the sale of e-cigarettes. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Kroger said Monday that it would stop...
Business Insider › Automobile › 2 weeks ago
Walmart has dropped its lawsuit against Tesla, which accused the company's solar panels of causing fires at seven stores. Tesla engaged in "widespread negligence" as it installed more than 200 systems at Walmart stores nationwide, the original...
Forbes › Finance › 1 month ago
Walmart (NYSE: WMT) provides the opportunity to people to shop and save money through retail stores and eCommerce. The company comprises three operating segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International, and Sam’s Club. They strive to continuously...
Chicago Tribune › Finance › 2 months ago
The nation's largest retailer said Friday that it will complete its exit from e-cigarettes after selling through current inventory. It cited growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity regarding vaping products.
Business Insider › Finance › 1 month ago
Walmart is looking to sell its members-only personal-shopping service Jetblack, after reportedly losing $15,000 per member annually, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. If the business is spun off, CEO and cofounder of Rent The Runway...
Business Insider › Finance › 1 month ago
Walmart is selling ModCloth, its digitally native women's apparel brand. Brand investment company Go Global Retail will acquire ModCloth, according to a press release posted Friday. Walmart executive Ashley Hubka said in a statement that the retail...
CNN › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has called for a temporary statewide ban on the sale of both flavored and non-flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products in response to a nationwide outbreak of lung injuries associated with vaping.
Sign In

Sign in to follow sources and tags you love, and get personalized stories.

Continue with Google