The Walgreens store at State and Randolph Streets in
Add Walgreens to the growing
list of retailers that have decided to stop selling e-cigarettes,
amid state and federal investigations into illnesses surrounding the
The Deerfield, Ill.-based pharmacy chain announced Monday that it
will remove e-cigarette products from its more than 9,500 stores
nationwide as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
Food and Drug Administration and others look into the devices,
Walgreens said in a statement.
A Walgreens spokesman declined to offer a specific time frame for
removing the products from stores.
The decision also follows “developing regulations in a growing
number of states and municipalities,” Walgreens said in the
statement. Massachusetts has temporarily banned the sale of
ecigarettes and other states have announced bans on flavored
About 1,080 cases of lung injuries and 18 deaths related to
ecigarettes, also known as vaping, had been reported across the
country as of Oct. 1, according to the CDC. It’s unknown exactly
what’s causing the illnesses, but most patients reported a history
of using products containing THC.
A number of other stores have also decided to pull the products from
their shelves, including Walmart, Kroger, Costco Wholesale, Rite Aid
and Dollar General. Competitor CVS Health has never sold
Many public health advocates have cheered stores’ decisions to stop
carrying e-cigarettes, while vaping advocates blame the illnesses on
illicit products and say many people rely on their products to help
them quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
The Vapor Technology Association, an industry group, did not
immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon.
Walgreens has been criticized in recent years for continuing to sell
traditional cigarettes, though competitor CVS Health stopped selling
tobacco products several years ago. Walgreens announced earlier this
year that it would no longer sell tobacco products to anyone under
age 21 and it has made tobacco products less visible in its stores,
but critics have said the changes don’t go far enough.