On Oct. 7, Walmart and Kroger announced that they would no longer sell e-cigarette products. Recent concerns over vaping come after the CDC linked approximately 1,299 cases of lung injury associated with e-cigarette or vaping products in the U.S. Additionally, the CDC found that 26 deaths occurred across 21 states with patients reporting a history of using e-cigarettes or vaping products.
“Most patients report a history of using tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-containing products,” the CDC states. “The latest national and state findings suggest products containing THC, particularly those obtained off the street or from other informal sources (e.g. friends, family members, illicit dealers), are linked to most of the cases and play a major role in the outbreak.”
Walgreens said in a statement that it will stop selling e-cigarette products at its stores nationwide as the CDC, FDA and other health officials continue to examine the issue.
“This decision is also reflective of developing regulations in a growing number of states and municipalities,” the company wrote in a statement.
Kroger tweeted a day later that, “We’re 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.”
Currently, the CDC has not determined what has caused the lung injuries associated with e-cigarette or vaping products, stating the only commonality was use of these products.
“This outbreak might have more than one cause, and many different substances and product sources are still under investigation,” the CDC states. “The specific chemical exposures causing lung injuries associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping, remains unknown at this time.”
While the FDA and CDC have not identified a cause of the lung injuries, both entities recommend consumers to stop using THC products with e-cigarettes and vapes during their ongoing investigation.
“Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working tirelessly to investigate the distressing incidents of severe respiratory illness associated with use of vaping products,” The FDA wrote in a statement. “The FDA and CDC are working closely with state and and local health officials to investigate these incidents as quickly as possible, and we are committed to taking appropriate actions as a clearer picture of the facts emerges.”