Walmart (WMT) decided that it will not sell vaping and related products in its stores anymore, especially as vaping has caused lung diseases in more than 530 people in the country and resulted in seven fatalities. Interestingly, no cases of vaping deaths have been reported outside of North America but China and India have also banned e-cigs. Now, a total of 27 countries have complete bans on electronic cigarettes. On the other hand, public health officials in Europe don’t have qualms about vapes. They still suggest that vapes could be used as a safer alternative to cigarettes.
President talks about harms of Vaping
Vaping was seen as a safe alternative to cigarette smoking. People who were trying to quit were often seen with their e-cigs. However, times changed quickly and American president Donald Trump spoke out about the harms of vaping. Soon after, the sale of Juul’s was restricted in China while India banned e-cigarettes altogether. Now, even retail giant Walmart has decided to ban their sale.
Back home in the US, Walmart doesn’t want to get into any trouble and has banned vapes outright. In a statement released on Friday, the company said,
“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. We will complete our exit after selling through current inventory.”
Does Walmart’s move hurt the vaping industry?
It is unlikely that a vaping product ban from Walmart will hurt the e-cig industry. Majority of e-cig companies draw their revenues from convenience stores and vaping shops. They will be more impacted by restrictions posed by regulators who are concerned about the use of these products by underage individuals. The Trump administration said that it would remove all flavored vapes from the market.
Juul is one of the most well-known brands in the e-cigarette industry which launched in China this month. However, their stores disappeared completely from Tmall by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and JD.com. They were not provided any explanation for the same. Official action from the Chinese authorities could be expected soon.
While the US has adopted a very tough stance on vaping, they still haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem with vaping. However, THC has often been counted as the main problem behind illnesses. It is a psychoactive ingredient that is found in cannabis as well.