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Walmart hikes minimum age to buy tobacco to 21 after FDA crackdown on sales to minors

Walmart is cracking down on tobacco sales to minors.

Walmart is hiking the minimum age for buying tobacco to 21 and will stop selling fruit and dessert-flavored e-cigarettes, CNBC reported Wednesday.

The Food and Drug Administration threatened to slap the mega-retailer with fines last month for illegally selling tobacco products to minors, reports CNBC. In April, the FDA warned Walmart, Family Dollar, and Kroger that the retailers needed to curb their rates of illegal sales.

Walmart had a 17 percent violation rate, writes CNBC. In a letter to the companies last month, the FDA said this "violative history is disturbing" and "cannot possibly come as a surprise to corporate leadership."

“We unequivocally acknowledge that even a single sale of tobacco product to a minor is one too many," John Scudder, Walmart’s U.S. chief ethics and compliance officer, wrote in a letter to the FDA on Wednesday.

Walmart hopes discontinuing flavored e-cigarettes will lead to fewer violations among teenagers, who are vaping at alarming rates, public officials said. The retailer's new policy is slated for rollout in July.