- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Walmart will no longer sell cigarettes in some U.S. stores, The Wall Street Journal first reported Monday.

The report noted that stores in California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico would stop sales.

“We are always looking at ways to meet our customers’ needs while still operating an efficient business. As a result of our ongoing focus on the tobacco category, we have made the business decision to discontinue the sale of tobacco in select stores,” a Walmart spokesperson said in a statement.

The Arkansas-based company is the largest retail chain to make the move. Target stopped tobacco sales in 1996, and CVS Health did the same in 2014. Walmart stopped selling e-cigarettes in 2019.

Walmart’s sales increased by 8.6% — resulting in $35 billion of growth — in 2021, according to the company’s annual earnings release.

But reduced tobacco sales at Sam’s Club decreased comp sales by approximately 4%, according to the release.

Smoking cigarettes causes approximately 20% of deaths in the U.S. each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.

• Peter Santo can be reached at psanto@washingtontimes.com.

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