BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Walmart will stop selling e-cigarettes at its U.S. locations amid growing “regulatory complexity” and “uncertainty” regarding the products that have recently come under scrutiny, according to a company memo.
“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 obtained by Yahoo Finance. “We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory.”
A total of 530 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related illnesses, but the cause remains unknown, according to U.S. health officials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday said confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 38 states and one U.S. territory. The total number of illnesses is up from 380 a week ago.
Seven deaths have been reported, the first of which occurred in Illinois late last month.
The CDC has not been able to identify a single substance or e-cigarette product linked to all cases, but the agency warns that many patients reported using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
The agency said it continues to work closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test the substances in e-cigarette products used by case patients and to collect information about patients’ recent vaping.
This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.