7-Eleven, Emart24 halt liquid e-cigarette sales

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7-Eleven, Emart24 halt liquid e-cigarette sales

Two additional convenience store chains have announced that they will suspend sales of liquid e-cigarettes.

7-Eleven and Emart24 on Saturday said they will stop selling four e-cigarette products, joining GS25 and CU, who made the same move last week.

U.S.-based Juul Labs’s Tropical, Delight and Crisp and local tobacco maker KT&G’s Siid Tundra are being removed from shelves. Heat-not-burn devices like IQOS, glo and lil are not affected.

7-Eleven and Emart24 will only sell the four kinds of liquid e-cigarettes until they are sold out. They will not place new orders when the existing stocks are sold out.

The decision follows a warning from the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Wednesday, advising people to stop using flavored liquid e-cigarettes, citing fatalities in the United States. According to the Health Ministry, 1,479 cases of serious lung disease have been found in the United States, with 33 deaths reported as of Oct. 15.

The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety plans to finalize analysis of liquid e-cigarette components by November. A study on the product’s potential health risks is also underway by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), an organization under the Health Ministry. Results are due in the first half of 2020.

According to a study released Sunday by the Health Ministry and KCDC, 4.3 percent of smokers in Korea last year were using e-cigarettes or heat-not-burn cigarettes. For men, the rate was higher, at 7.1 percent.

BY JIN MIN-JI, SONG KYOUNG-SON [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]

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