Walmart to raise tobacco purchase age to 21

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Walmart announced Wednesday it will raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products, including all e-cigarettes to 21 starting July 1, 2019.

The retailer also announced it is in the process of discontinuing the sale of fruit and dessert flavored electronic delivery systems. 

Walmart sent a letter to Norman E. Sharpless, M.D., Acting FDA Commissioner detailing the move following FDA compliance checks of underage tobacco sales.

The company reports that since 2010, the FDA has conducted approximately 12,800 checks at Walmart and Sam’s Club locations. Over that time, Walmart passed 93% of the time and Sam’s Club pased 99% of the time.  

In 2018 Walmart stores passed 94% of the time and Sam’s Club passed 100% of its checks.

Walmart says it’s implementing additional measures to make sure tobacco products aren’t sold to underage customers, which includes improved age-verification training using virtual reality.  

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