NEW YORK — Two major retailers say they will no longer sell e-cigarettes in the U.S. amid mounting health questions surrounding vaping.
Supermarket chain Kroger, one of the largest U.S. grocers, and drugstore chain Walgreen announced Monday they would discontinue sales of e-cigarettes at their stores nationwide, citing an uncertain regulatory environment.
The vaping industry has come under scrutiny after hundreds of people have fallen ill and at least eight have died after using vaping devices.
The moves come a month after Walmart Inc. said it would stop selling e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery products at its U.S. stores. Amazon.com Inc. had also said it would take down vape paraphernalia from its website.
E-cigarettes have been marketed as tools to help smokers quit, but rising use among youth in the United States and a spate of severe lung illnesses and some deaths tied to vaping have triggered a backlash and heightened regulatory scrutiny.
New York and Michigan have already banned the sales of flavored vaping products, while the Trump administration has announced plans to remove all flavored e-cigarettes from store shelves as officials warned that sweet flavors had drawn millions of children into nicotine addiction.
Kroger said it would stop selling e-cigarettes as soon at its current inventory runs out at its more than 2,700 stores and 1,500 fuel centers. The Cincinnati-based company operates Ralphs, Harris Teeter and other stores.
Walgreens, based in Deerfield, Illinois, operates more than 9,500 stores in the U.S.