Attention Walmart shoppers: As of July 1, all domestic Walmart and Sam’s Clubs will cease sales of e-cigarettes to anyone under 21. Additionally, the largest retailer in the world has announced that it will stop sales of sweet-flavored e-cigarettes, following in the footsteps of Rite Aid and Walgreens after a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration.
April’s warning letter targeting specific retailers across the country sparked a flood of changes within the retail sales space, and Walmart’s approximate 13,000 compliance checks regarding minor sales since 2010 received less than stellar marks. CNN.com reports that 93% of the checks passed, prompting a statement from Walmart brass: "While we have implemented a robust compliance program, we are not satisfied with falling short of our company-wide goal of 100% compliance. Even a single sale to a minor is one too many, and we take seriously our responsibilities in this regard,” Walmart’s chief compliance and ethics officer for the U.S., John Scudder, said.
The FDA’s warning letter seems to have been the final push to limit e-cigarette sales. The organization has threatened a ban on not only flavors but e-cigarette manufacturing as a whole, but so we’ve seen individual businesses, jurisdictions and states adopting their own versions of Tobacco 21 and limiting — or banning altogether — flavors.
Again, the argument stands: What will adult smokers who are trying to quit do when flavor sales are prohibited altogether?