Walmart, Sam’s Club raise tobacco purchase age to 21

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TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As the Kansas Supreme Court paves the way for Topeka to raise its tobacco purchase age, a national chain is following suit.

Walmart and Sam’s Club both raised their purchase ages for cigarettes, vapes and other tobacco products to 21 effective Monday, according to a letter from the corporation to the FDA. The storefronts will also discontinue the sale of fruit and dessert-flavored electronic cigarettes entirely.

Walmart Ethics and Compliance Officer John Scudder wrote that the moves are an attempt to combat underage sales.

Even a single sale of a tobacco product to a minor is one too many, and we take seriously our responsibilities in this regard. The FDA can be assured that we will remain focused on improving our compliance program and rates and that any sale-to-minor violation will be handled promptly and appropriately.

John Scudder

Walmart and Sam’s Club’s age hikes go into effect ahead of Topeka’s city ordinance to raise the purchase price.

A city spokesperson said there is a 21-day waiting period before the ordinance can be enforced, at earliest July 20.

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