BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — Starting today, if you’re under the age of 21 and looking to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products at Walmart, you’re going to be out of luck.
Walmart announced in May that it would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21 starting in July. That policy actually kicks in today (July 1). The new policy affects all Walmarts, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club stores, more than 5,300 in all.
Previously, the minimum age to purchase tobacco products in Walmart’s stores was 18, which coincided with Arkansas law. But now, sixteen states have the minimum age set at 21, including Arkansas, which will raise its minimum to 21 starting Sept. 1 — with a few caveats. Military members will be exempt from the new law, and it won’t apply to smokers who turn 19 before 2020. The exceptions are meant to phase in the new age limit to 21 for all by 2021.
Fourteen states, however, already have set the minimum age to purchase such products at 21.
The Bentonville-based retailer also said it would stop selling fruit and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes, which have been criticized as responsible for getting teenagers hooked on vaping.