Will Walmart Stop Selling Cigarettes in Indiana?
The store everyone seemingly loves to hate for one reason or another, yet continues to shop at regularly, announced on Monday it will stop selling tobacco products in select stores nationwide. Will that include any locations in Indiana and Kentucky?
Which Walmart Locations Will Stop Selling Cigarettes?
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the announcement saying they were told by "anonymous sources and store visits" that locations in California, Florida, Arkansas, and New Mexico were on the list of stores set to no longer carry the products. However, it did not specify if that would begin immediately or at a later date.
As for other locations around the country, the company says the decision to no longer carry tobacco products "will be made on a store-by-store basis according to the business and particular market."
Tobacco Use in Indiana and Kentucky
That last quote is important to note because at the end of the day, Walmart is in the business to make money and tobacco sales can be "a significant revenue generator." Let's take a look at how tobacco use in Indiana and Kentucky stacks up against the national numbers to see if we can figure out whether or not locations around here will be added to the list.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control, 19.2% of Hoosier adults smoked cigarettes in 2019, nearly 7% higher than the national average of 12.5%.
The number of Kentuckians lighting up is even higher with 23.6% of adults smoking in 2019. Kentucky is also known for its tobacco farming. While the number of farms has decreased over the past few years, the USDA reports just over 117 million pounds of tobacco with an estimated value of nearly $270 million was harvested from Bluegrass State tobacco farms in 2021.
While no Walmart locations in Indiana or Kentucky have been announced as those that will no longer sell tobacco products, it is certainly possible the day will come. However, considering the numbers above, my guess, and let me be clear, this is 100% pure speculation on my part, is that if they are, it won't be anytime soon.
[Sources: Wall Street Journal / Centers for Disease Control / USDA]