Largest US Retailer Halts Sale Of Vapor Products
Sales stop amid unfounded health scare
Health claims misattributed to nicotine vaping have left the future of the vaping industry looking uncertain. These problems were actually shown to have been caused by the use of contaminated illegally produced cannabis oil cartridges. Regardless, these unfounded reports have been used by lawmakers across the country as justification for hastily enacted bans that range from a ban on all flavored vapor products to outright prohibition.
It appears now that national retailers are beginning to follow lawmakers leads in reacting before the complete story and all scientific data is available. Walmart, the largest retailer in the US, has recently announced it will stop selling vapor products at both its namesake and Sam’s Club stores.
Anti-vaping activists have applauded Walmart for joining retailers such as Rite Aid for ending the sale of all vapor products in their stores. Members of the vaping community note that while these retailers no longer carry vapor products, which have been proven to be an effective smoking cessation tool, they do still carry a variety of traditional tobacco products, which have been repeatedly proven to be far more harmful.
The current negative climate surrounding vaping has left the future of the industry in limbo as manufacturers and retailers struggle to adapt and navigate this new landscape. This sudden misinformed onslaught against vaping has significant potential ramifications for the economy as the $6 billion-a-year industry continues to face unnecessary regulatory hurdles and financial burdens.
Walmart announced that it would stop selling vapor products once the current inventory is sold out in response to growing scrutiny surrounding the vapor industry. There are growing concerns in the vapor industry that other retailers may soon follow Walmarts lead, this coming alongside growing scrutiny and excessive taxation against smaller mom-and-pop vape shops.
The largest US retailer is well known for taking controversial activist stances, earlier this month announcing that it would stop selling handgun ammunition and ammunition commonly used in “military-style assault weapons” in response to recent mass shootings. In a statement, the company cited “growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty regarding e-cigarettes” as reasons for ending sales.
Critics of the move note that the company has not announced plans of any kind to end sales of tobacco products in any of its stores, which kill millions around the world annually. These critics claim ending sales was nothing more than another activist stance in the wake of hysteria in the media surrounding vaping.
Excessive taxation and bans on flavored vapor products, which make up 90-95% of sales for some, have been forcing smaller mom-and-pop retailers to close. If other major retailers follow Walmarts lead you may soon only find vapor products in small gas stations. Unless of course, your municipality has completely prohibited all sales of vapor products.
As a federal ban looms, states enact bans of their own, and national retailers pull vapor products from their shelves while not even mentioning tobacco, evidence continues to emerge highlighting the safety of vaping over smoking. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer in their lifetimes in comparison to smokers.
On top of this, separate studies from Public Health England and the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center found vaping to be 95% and 93% safer than smoking, respectively. These kinds of studies not only prove that vaping is less harmful than smoking, but also help to highlight the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid.
In fact, there are emerging studies showing that vaping may be the single greatest tool we have in the fight against the smoking epidemic. Research at the University of Louisville found vaping to be the single most effective smoking cessation tool available on the market today, beating out all other options including prescription smoking cessation therapies.
It’s unfortunate that despite all this evidence, research shows the public at large tends to be misinformed about the potential benefits of vaping. A study by Action on Smoking and Health found that as little as 13% of adults believe vaping is safer than smoking, with a staggering 26% of respondents claiming that it’s just as bad, if not worse.
Vaping and You
Major retailers such as Walmart and Rite Aid pulling vapor products from its stores could be the beginning of a devastating downward trend that leaves the future of vaping in jeopardy. Not only do these moves threaten the foundation of a $6 billion-a-year industry, but also dramatically restricts access to a proven smoking cessation aid to millions of current and former smokers across the country.
These moves by major retailers along with unreasonable regulatory burdens to smaller ones, threaten the viability of the retail vapor market as we know it. Vapers may soon find themselves forced to the black market or use risky homemade options, not produced under strict industry standards, should this trend continue.
It is imperative, now more than ever, for vapers to use platforms such as social media for voicing their concerns, addressing these companies, and contributing to the larger public discourse surrounding vaping. Through positive engagement and sharing experiences of how vaping has changed our lives and improved our health, we can help shift some of the negative stigma currently surrounding vaping.
Has vaping helped to improve your health or change your life? How do you feel about retailers such as Walmart and Rite Aid ending sales of vapor products while continuing to sell tobacco products? Please let us know what you think in the comments. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news.
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/images/id-4054031/)