New Walmart tobacco policy goes into effect Monday

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Beginning Monday, July 1, Walmart will raise the minimum age for tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21 in an effort to combat tobacco sales to minors.

Previously, its minimum purchase age was 18, aside from a number of states where the law required a minimum purchase age of 21.

Walmart said in early May that it was also in the process of ending fruit- and dessert-flavored e-cigarette products, which critics say can hook teenagers on vaping.

The new policies will take effect at all of Walmart's 5,300 U.S. stores, including its Sam's Club warehouse locations.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration put Walmart and 14 other retailers on notice for selling tobacco products to kids. Another retailer on the list, drugstore operator Walgreens, said in April that it would increase its minimum age for tobacco sales to 21 in September.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.