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E-cigarette sales discontinued at Walgreens, Kroger as crisis continues

Walgreens and Kroger said Monday that they would stop selling e-cigarettes.

The move makes them the latest national retailers to get out of the vaping business amid health concerns and growing regulatory scrutiny.

Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain by total locations, will stop selling e-cigarettes permanently, spokesman Phil Caruso said in an email.

“This decision is also reflective of developing regulations in a growing number of states and municipalities,” Walgreens said in a statement.

Caruso said Walgreens had not determined a timeline for the phaseout, but “we plan to exit in an orderly manner.”

The company’s archrival, CVS Pharmacy, has never sold e-cigarettes, CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo told USA TODAY in August.

Kroger said it “is discontinuing the sale of electronic nicotine delivery products, or e-cigarettes, at all store and fuel center locations due to the mounting questions and increasingly-complex regulatory environment associated with these products.”

The nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, announced plans last month to discontinue sales of e-cigarettes.

The federal government is considering increased regulatory requirements and a ban on vaping flavors.

At least 1,080 people have had lung illnesses and 18 people have died in connection with mysterious illnesses possibly linked with vaping certain black market marijuana products, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nathan Bomey/USA Today