Walmart is raising the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, will increase the minimum age to buy tobacco products, marking a big moment in the fight against teen nicotine addicti...

Posted: May 9, 2019 8:30 AM

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, will increase the minimum age to buy tobacco products, marking a big moment in the fight against teen nicotine addiction.

The company announced Wednesday it will stop selling tobacco or e-cigarettes products to anyone under the age of 21 in the United States. The changes will take effect July 1 at all American Walmart and Sam's Club locations.

The company will stop selling sweet-flavored e-cigarettes, which have become popular among teenagers.

The policy shift comes after Walmart received a letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for not fully prohibiting kids under 18 from buying tobacco products at its stores. The FDA conducted roughly 13,000 compliance checks since 2010 and said Walmart passed only 93% of them.

"While we have implemented a robust compliance program, we are not satisfied with falling short of our company-wide goal of 100% compliance," the company wrote. "Even a single sale to a minor is one too many, and we take seriously our responsibilities in this regard."

In March, the FDA warned several retailers, including Walmart, Kroger and Walgreens, that they were violating rules against selling tobacco products to minors. The agency also labeled the use of e-cigarettes by young people as an "epidemic."

In response, Walgreens said that its stores will no longer sell tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 starting September 1.

The FDA stipulates that tobacco and e-cigarettes may only be sold to people 18 years or older. But several states have raised the age for legal sales to 21, including Illinois, Washington, Hawaii and California.

One in five high school students uses e-cigarettes, according to the surgeon general. Teen e-cigarette usage is soaring: The percentage of high school age children who say they used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days rose by more than 75% between 2017 and 2018, according to the National Youth Tobacco Survey.

In September, the FDA started a campaign to prevent kids from using e-cigarettes. It claims that nicotine use is hazardous to young adults' health, even when inhaled with an e-ciagrette.

The FDA was expected to ban e-cigarettes last year, but it instead pushed for e-cigarettes to be sold only in parts of stores that are closed-off to teenagers.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 419642

Reported Deaths: 32760
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City22725823567
Suffolk436811998
Nassau435802194
Westchester361361447
Rockland13925674
Orange11129491
Erie8791671
Monroe4901285
Dutchess4589153
Onondaga3556200
Albany2573128
Oneida2129115
Ulster204991
Niagara149198
Sullivan148848
Putnam144663
Broome111569
Schenectady105537
Rensselaer75930
Saratoga75217
Columbia53537
Madison41217
Ontario35734
Warren30733
Orleans29754
Steuben29742
Fulton29324
Greene29118
Genesee2775
Herkimer2704
St. Lawrence2634
Washington25614
Oswego2513
Chautauqua2499
Wayne2493
Tompkins2330
Chenango2156
Tioga19325
Livingston1748
Montgomery1704
Chemung1683
Cattaraugus1646
Cayuga1512
Jefferson1400
Clinton1274
Otsego1165
Wyoming1165
Delaware1044
Cortland950
Seneca873
Allegany791
Schoharie690
Yates567
Essex550
Franklin540
Lewis390
Schuyler220
Hamilton80
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Oneonta
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 66°
Herkimer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Thendara
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 72°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Ask EPLC Sweepstakes
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left