Walmart Inc is stopping cigarette sales in some US stores after years of debate within the retail giant's management team about selling tobacco products, the Wall Street Journal has reported.
The markets in which cigarettes are being removed from stores include California, Florida, Arkansas and New Mexico, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter and store visits.
The retailer has rolled out a design with more self-checkout registers and other items such as grab-and-go food or candy near the front of the stores in place of Marlboro, Newport and other tobacco products, according to the report.
Walmart did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
In December of last year, New Zealand announced plans to ban young people from ever buying cigarettes in their lifetime in one of the world's toughest crackdowns on the tobacco industry, arguing that other efforts to extinguish smoking were taking too long.
CVS in 2014 became the first US drugstore chain to take cigarettes off the shelves, while Walmart decided a few years later to halt sales of e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery products at its US stores due to growing regulatory complexity and uncertainty.
Several Democratic US senators have also urged Walmart and a few other retailers to stop selling all tobacco products.
Last month, Swiss voters approved tougher restrictions on cigarette advertising, but rejected a proposal by animal rights activists to make Switzerland the first country to ban medical and scientific experiments on animals.