Walmart announced today it’s raising the minimum age of purchase for tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21. Additionally, all Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs will discontinue sales of fruit- and dessert-flavored electronic delivery systems.
Walmart Inc.’s U.S. Chief of Compliance and Ethics Officer John Scudder said in a statement. “While we have implemented a robust compliance program, we are not satisfied with falling short of our company-wide goal of 100% compliance. Even a single sale to a minor is one too many, and we take seriously our responsibilities in this regard.”
These actions were spurred when Walmart received a letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 5 about how the company’s current policies to ban nicotine sales to underage customers were faring. In response, Walmart sent a letter back to the FDA outlining its plans to do better.
Walmart’s letter to the FDA stated its current success rate with compliance tests, putting forth a 93% at Walmart stores and 99% rate at Sam’s Club locations. In 2018, Walmart stores passed 94% and Sam’s Club 100%.
Among the many measures Walmart is taking to enforce these changes, the letter states the company plans on “upgrading and reinforcing age-verification training through virtual reality technology.”
The company’s updated policies are slated to go into effective as of July 1, 2019.