Rite Aid ends the sale of electronic cigarettes and cites the increase in the number of young users



Rite Aid, one of the country's largest pharmacy chains, will stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping products because it fears it is fueling tobacco use among college and university students in the United States.

Rite Aid announced Thursday that it will withdraw products from its more than 2,400 stores over the next 90 days. The chain will continue to sell ordinary tobacco products, a decision criticized by some public health advocates.

"We are concerned by some alarming statistics regarding the use of e-cigarettes and vaping products by children and teens," said Bryan Everett, director of operations of the chain, during a call regarding the results. He added that "although many think these products are beneficial to those who have reached the legal age who are trying to give up smoking," the company had decided to stop selling them because of their growing popularity among young people.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that consumption of tobacco products, a category that includes electronic cigarettes and vaping products, jumped 38% last year among high school students and 29% among college students. The surge, fueled by the growth of e-cigarettes, has helped offset the decline in youth use of these products in previous years, according to C.D.C. found.


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