Fry’s Food parent company to stop selling e-cigarettes
PHOENIX – Arizona supermarket retailer Fry’s Food Stores will join other companies and stop selling electronic cigarettes, parent company Kroger has announced.
Kroger said in a statement Monday there would be no more sales of the products as soon at its current inventory ran out.
Fry’s, with headquarters in Tolleson, operates more than 125 stores in Arizona, mostly in metro Phoenix. Overall, Kroger has more than 2,700 stores and 1,500 fuel centers.
The Cincinnati-based company cited “mounting questions” and the “increasingly complex regulatory environment associated with these products.”
Drugstore giant Walgreens also said Monday it would no longer sell electronic nicotine-delivery products.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said there have been seven cases of vaping-related illnesses in the state.
“Vaping devices containing both nicotine and cannabinoid substances have been identified in this investigation,” the department said in a recent statement.
Nationwide, more than 1,000 vaping-related respiratory cases have been reported in 48 states and a U.S. territory. There have been 18 deaths in 10 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control last week.
“The increasing number of lung injury cases we see associated with e-cigarette use, or vaping, is deeply concerning. Unfortunately, this may be the tip of the iceberg,” CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield said in a statement.
Less than three weeks ago, Walmart, the country’s biggest retailer, said it would stop selling e-cigarettes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.