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Rite Aid Stopping Vaping Sales, Keeping Tobacco

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In a move that is quite baffling to vaping advocates, convenience store chain Rite Aid has decided to stop all e-cigarette and vaping product sales, however spokespeople say that the company will continue to sell traditional tobacco products in its approximate 2,500 nationwide stores. The move will go into effect gradually within the next three months.

Company executives told The Hill that the move “was made due to the increased number of teenagers and children using the products.”“While many feel these products are beneficial to those of legal age who're trying to quit the use of tobacco, we have made the decision to remove all electronic cigarettes and vaping products from our offering at all Rite Aid stores,” Chief Operating Officer Bryan Everett said during the conference call announcement.

Recently former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC that 30% of convenience store sales come from cigarettes. “It’s hard for a convenience store to let go of tobacco. This was not exactly a profile in courage. They are not exactly good from a corporate compliance standpoint on keeping traditional tobacco products out of the hands of kids.”

Rite Aid told The New York Times via statement that customers still want to “be able to buy traditional tobacco products, but that it had decreased the visibility of those items in its stores in recent years.” The company says that its expanded smoking cessation offerings and trained pharmacists “in a program that can help customers quit smoking.” Spokespeople also say that it will continue to ID consumers based on varying age laws in the country.