Kroger extinguishes e-cigarette sales
Vapers will have one less outlet to purchase e-cigarette products.
Kroger announced its intention to cease sales of e-cigarettes across its banners in a brief statement on its website. “Kroger 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,” says the statement. “The company will exit this category after selling through its current inventory.”
The e-cigarette industry finds itself under increasing scrutiny amid skyrocketing use of vaping by teens and reports of vaping-related respiratory illness and even deaths. As of Oct. 1, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 1,080 lung injury cases associated with using e-cigarette or vaping products have been reported, with 18 deaths confirmed in 15 states. Many, but not all, of the illnesses have been linked to vaping mixtures with THC, the high-inducing substance in cannabis.
The state of Massachusetts enacted a four-month ban on the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products on Sept. 24. A number of vape shops and companies filed for a temporary restraining order soon afterward. A federal judge has initially upheld the ban, but will hold a hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction to lift the ban on Oct. 15.