Facing the possibility of sanctions against it, Walgreens has increased the minimum age to purchase tobacco from its stores to 21. The retailer had been on the FDA’s watch list for a long time.
The FDA had earlier sent a notice to Walgreens, stating that Walgreen was violating rules regarding sale of cigarettes and tobacco related products to minors. A shocking 22% of Walgreens stores under inspection were found to allow sale of such products to minors. FDA specifically noted that Walgreens stood first on the list of violator pharmacies that were found selling tobacco and related products.
In response to this, Walgreens has stated that customers had to be 21 years of age at the least, to purchase tobacco and related products. It has tightened policies to this effect, which would be effective from September 1, 2019.
Richard Ashworth, the current President of Operations at Walgreens has stated that positive results had been observed from recent steps taken by the company. He said that the latest step would be beneficial, as it had a good chance of reducing tobacco consumption in young adults and teens.
Mitch McConnell, who is the leader of Senate Majority announced last week that he would present new federal legislation, which has already been nicknamed as T21. The bill will be introduced around next month. Over 12 states have increased the minimum age for purchasing tobacco to 21 in the past. It is expected that a handful of states will follow their lead or pursue similar action.
The company CVS Health put an end to its tobacco product sales in 2014. Earlier, Walgreens had tried to test out stores which don’t sell tobacco. However, this didn’t last for long as the company stuck to its original position of letting customers decide between buying e-cigarettes, tobacco cigarettes and related products.
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