Rite Aid Exits Electronic Cigarette Business
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Five years ago, CVS Health Corp. stopped selling tobacco products. Two weeks ago, Walgreens revealed plans to test tobacco-free stores. Now, Rite Aid Corp. is removing electronic cigarettes from its locations.
According to Chief Operating Officer Bryan Everett, the drugstore chain will remove all e-cigarette and vapor products over the next 90 days.
Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that show tobacco use among youth increased nearly 38 percent between 2017 and 2018, Everett made the announcement during Rite Aid's fourth-quarter 2019 earnings call on April 11.
"While many feel these products are beneficial to those of legal age or trying to quit the use of tobacco, we have made the decision to remove all electronic cigarettes and vaping products from our offering at all Rite Aid Stores," he explained.
In addition, the company will continue to enforce its chainwide policy that requires identification for all age-restricted purchases.
"We will also continue evaluating our entire front end offering to ensure that we are meeting both the needs and the expectations of our customers," Everett added.
As it exits one segment, Rite Aid will begin testing sales of another. According to Everett, the company will begin testing cannabidiol (CBD) products this month. The decision was driven by its customers' interest.
"In response to this interest, this month we will begin piloting the sale of CBD creams, lotions and lip balms at Rite Aid stores in Oregon and Washington to better meet the needs and preferences of our customers in those communities," he said.
Camp Hill-based Rite Aid has 3,585 locations in the United States.