Walgreens has announced that it will be implementing a new chain-wide policy requiring customers to be at least 21 years of age in order to purchase tobacco products in its stores.
Effective Sept 1st, 2019, this new policy is the most recent step by a major retailer to curb youth access to tobacco.
In March, Walgreens was one of many drug stores, gas stations, and other locations that were issued warning letters from the FDA, citing repetitive infractions selling tobacco to underage customers. Walgreens topped the list of chains receiving citations—1,800 since 2010.
“We’ve seen positive results from other recent efforts to strengthen our policies related to tobacco sales and believe this next step can be even more impactful to reduce its use among teens and young adults,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. “Through ongoing training and certification for pharmacists and technicians, we also continue to help and support people looking to quit the use of tobacco in their lives.”
Walgreens has implemented other policies in the past, including the “Card All” chain-wide policy last October, which requires verification regardless of age on all tobacco sales.
Antismoking organizations like the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation and Truth have pressured Walgreens to stop selling tobacco products across the chain. Truth says that its petition campaigns have gotten several individual Walgreens stores to stop selling tobacco.