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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

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong to put tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

4 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.