Rite Aid announced Thursday it will stop selling e-cigarettes and vaping products in all of its stores (more than 2,400 of them) because of concerns that they are behind the increase in tobacco use among middle and high school students. Rite Aid will continue to sell regular tobacco products.
What's happening: The latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, released in January, found a 78% increase in e-cigarette use among high school students and a 48% increase in middle school students. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he would consider taking e-cigarettes off the market if companies continued marketing aggressively to young people.
Why it matters: Rite Aid's decision is the latest bit of bad news for Altria, which paid $12.8 billion for a 35% stake in e-cigarette juggernaut Juul.
- On Jan. 22, a Morgan Stanley analyst downgraded the stock, warning that the accelerating decline in cigarette volume would negatively impact Altria. The stock fell 6.9%, according to data from Investing.com.
- On April 3, the FDA said it was investigating 35 cases between 2010 and 2019 of people who suffered seizures after vaping. The stock fell 4.8% after a 1.8% slide the previous day.