FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – 34 Vallarta stores across California will no longer sell tobacco products, according to an announcement by the grocery chain on Friday.

In a statement, Vallarta Supermarkets officials say the move will help improve shoppers’ health.

This helps demonstrate our commitment to our customers and their well-being.  According to The Latino Coordinating Center for a Tobacco-Free California (LCC) this makes Vallarta Supermarkets the first and largest grocer in California to remove tobacco products from its shelves.

Vallarta Supermarkets

The move was welcomed by the Latino Coordinating Center (which is a program of the California Health Collaborative).

Vallarta Supermarkets’ choice to remove tobacco products from 34 of its grocery stores occurs in a period in which tobacco continues to harm Latino families nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), four of the five leading causes of death among Latinos – cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – are linked to tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure.

Latino Coordinating Center

The LCC adds that grocers should not depend on revenue from tobacco sales – and commends Vallarta for influencing better health in the communities they serve.