Alibaba to stop sales of e-cig­a­rette com­po­nents in US

The Korea Times - - HEALTH -

Chi­nese e-com­merce firm Alibaba said on Wed­nes­day it will stop sell­ing e-cig­a­rette com­po­nents in the U.S., amid grow­ing reg­u­la­tory scru­tiny and re­ports of lung dis­ease and some deaths linked to va­p­ing.

The move fol­lows an­nounce­ments by Kroger Co and Wal­greens Boots Al­liance Inc this week that they would stop sell­ing e-cig­a­rettes at their stores, in line with a sim­i­lar de­ci­sion by Wal­mart.

Alibaba said it al­ready had a long-stand­ing pol­icy in place to not sell com­plete e-cig­a­rette prod­ucts in the U.S.

Va­p­ing prod­ucts have been linked to a mys­te­ri­ous lung ill­ness that is re­ported to have led to 18 deaths as of last week, with the num­ber of con­firmed and prob­a­ble cases of the con­di­tion ex­ceed­ing 1,000, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion.

Alibaba Group Hold­ing said that list­ings for prod­ucts such as box mods, vape pens, herbal va­pors, heat not burn de­vices, and empty pod car­tridges would not be dis­played for users lo­cated in the United States.

While Juul Labs Inc dom­i­nates the North Amer­i­can mar­ket for pod e-cig­a­rettes, many re­ports of death and in­jury in the United States have been tied to makeshift brands with no iden­ti­fi­able owner.

The most prom­i­nent, Dank Vapes, was linked to 24 pa­tients with lung ill­ness, ac­cord­ing to a study from the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Medicine. The prod­ucts con­tained THC, the psy­choac­tive in­gre­di­ent in mar­i­juana.

Prior to the sus­pen­sion, buy­ers could eas­ily pur­chase de­vices, com­po­nent parts and pack­ag­ing from sites like Alibaba or Ama­zon to make their own coun­ter­feit va­p­ing de­vices.

Ama­zon.com took down vape para­pher­na­lia in Septem­ber, al­though it did not spec­ify the ex­act prod­ucts it re­moved.

(Reuters)

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