Alibaba to halt sales of electronic cigarette ingredients in the US

The move follows announcements by Kroger Co and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc this week that they would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes in their stores, in line with a similar decision by Walmart.

Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba said Wednesday it will ban the sale of electronic cigarette components in the United States amid growing regulatory scrutiny and reports of lung disease and some evaporation-related deaths.

Alibaba said it already had a long-standing policy of not selling complete e-cigarette products in the United States.

Vaping products have been linked to a mysterious lung disease, which is reported to have led to 18 deaths since last week, with the number of confirmed and probable cases exceeding 1,000, according to US Centers- for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said listings for products such as box modes, vapor pens, plant vapors, heat burners and empty pod cartridges will not be displayed to users located in the United States.

While Juul Labs Inc. dominates the North American market for pod cigarettes, many reports of death and injury in the United States have been linked to self-made brands without an identifiable owner.

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

Prior to the suspension, shoppers could easily purchase equipment, components and packaging from sites like Alibaba or Amazon to make their own vaping counterfeit devices./

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