Major retailer increases minimum age to buy cigarettes


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFTA)–Starting Monday, those wishing to purchase cigarettes at Walmart had to be at least 21 years old.

The policy change comes just months before the first phase of Arkansas’ three-year gradual move to have a similar statewide law goes into effect. Walmart is also cutting fruit and dessert-flavored nicotine e-cigarette products from its shelves.

“Walmart going 21 and up, they’re trying to cover themselves,” said Jeffery Church, the manager of Ohmies Vape & Glass Emporium on MLK.

An employee of a different vape shop who didn’t want to be named said the policy change wouldn’t stop underage smokers from getting their cigarettes. He said if someone is old enough to fight for his or her country, he or she should be able to legally buy tobacco products. When the state law is enacted, military members will have an exemption.

“When it comes down to it, we don’t push for underage smoking either,” said Church, who predicted that his business will get more clients in the gap between July 1 to September 1. “We’re gonna lose business off [the state law], the whole industry is gonna lose business off of this, but we’re gonna gain that back. People grow up, people age.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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