Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Kroger and Walgreens have become the latest retailers to stop the sale of e-cigarettes amid rising deaths and illnesses linked to vaping.

The big picture: E-cigs have come under increased scrutiny in recent months, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linking at least 18 deaths and over 1,000 illnesses to vaping. In response, federal, state and local lawmakers have been increasingly pushing for bans on the sale of e-cigs in general and flavored vape products in particular, due to their popularity among young people.

  • A spokesperson for Kroger cited "mounting questions and increasingly-complex regulatory environment" for its decision to halt sales, CNBC reports.
  • A Walgreens spokesperson said its decision to stop sales is also "reflective of developing regulations in a growing number of states and municipalities."
  • Rite Aid ended e-cig sales in April, and Walmart followed suit in September.

Between the lines: E-cigarette sales are the latest test of corporate responsibility for retailers. Although e-cigs were originally designed to help regular cigarette users ween off and quit smoking altogether, vaping has seen a huge surge in popularity in recent years, specifically among young people.

Go deeper: GOP allies warn vaping ban will sink Trump in 2020

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Biden releases 2019 tax returns ahead of debate

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign released his 2019 tax returns on Tuesday, showing that he and his wife, Jill, paid nearly $300,000 in federal taxes last year.

Why it matters: The release, timed just hours before the first presidential debate, comes days after a bombshell New York Times report said that President Trump paid only $750 in federal taxes in 2016 and 2017. Biden's team is hoping to make the tax contrast a sticking point during their showdown.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 33,454,037 — Total deaths: 1,003,571 — Total recoveries: 23,204,219Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:15 p.m. ET: 7,165,067 — Total deaths: 205,476 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. States: NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June.
  5. Sports: Tennessee Titans close facility amid NFL's first coronavirus outbreak.
  6. World: U.K. beats previous record for new coronavirus cases.

NYC's coronavirus positivity rate spikes to highest since June

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

New York City's coronavirus positivity rate has ticked up to 3.25%, its highest since June, Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The jump — from 1.93% on Monday — came on the first day that public elementary classrooms reopened in the city after months of closures, but guidelines state that all public schools will have to shut if the citywide seven-day positivity rate stays above 3%.