Being implemented on July 1st of 2019, the legal age to buy tobacco products and vaping devices at Walmart and its brother brand, Sam’s Club is being raised from 18 to 21. It clearly indicates that people below this age benchmark will no longer be able to buy tobacco products including e-cigarette from these stores anywhere in the United States.
Walmart’s decision comes after a letter from the Food and Drug Administration last month that requested it to submit a plan to end illegal tobacco sales to minors.
However, this is not the only change that Walmart has introduced recently.
In the past, people could choose to purchase tobacco products including ecig and eliquid at the tender age of 18. The market player has not just announced to raise the minimum age bar from 18 to 21 to buy vaping and tobacco items but it has also decided to reduce the flavor variety. Walmart will no longer be selling “fruit and dessert flavored electronic nicotine delivery systems” and any other vaping device.
Following Walmart’s announcement, several other retailers have also changed their policies regarding the sale of tobacco products to minors. For instance, Walgreens announced to stop selling tobacco products and vaping devices to the minors from September while Rite Aid announced in April to remove e-cigarettes stock from its store over the next 90 days.
In April Senator Mitch McConnell — who has been a big supporter of the tobacco industry — said he would introduce a bill to raise the minimum age to 21 to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products. Mr. McConnell said he was motivated by the popularity of vaping among teenagers and young adults.
By increasing the minimum age, Walmart is taking a sound step to keep all these commodities out of the hands of minors. It will help them prevent high-school students from buying these merchandises for themselves and classmates. And by cutting yummier flavors from their list, they are trying to limit the appeal of using e-cigarettes and vaping devices for pure enjoyment purpose as many minors do, without giving a second thought.
However, still, there are several retailers and online resellers, who are not implementing these changes.