Walgreens, Rite Aid Raise Tobacco-Buying Age To 21

Daniel Fowler
April 25, 2019

Some 22 percent of Walgreens locations inspected by the agency caught employees illegally selling tobacco products to minors, the FDA said. The Walgreens Boots Alliance, the United Kingdom division of the company, made the announcement on Tuesday.

At the time of report, a Walgreens spokesperson told FOX Business that it was taking the matter "very seriously" and has already taken a number of steps to address the issues, including requiring identification for anyone purchasing tobacco products regardless of their age.

Walgreens is raising the age to buy tobacco products at its stores to 21 starting September 1 after facing pressure from federal regulators.

So far 12 states have enacted laws to raise the minimum age to 21, including New Jersey and California.

U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell last week disclosed plans to introduce legislation to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products, including vaping devices, to 21 from 18.

Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said Walgreens' move was nothing more than a recognition of the growing trend toward limiting sales.

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In an official press release, Walgreens president of operations Richard Ashworth stated that the pharmaceutical industry is also looking forward to yield better digital tools and information for its consumers to quit smoking.

According to the FDA Walgreens, is the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products.

INSIGHT: Earlier this year (former) FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb accused Walgreen for repeatedly violating the healthcare warnings.

He added that pharmacists and technicians will receive ongoing training and certification to help people with smoking cessation efforts.

In addition to its new Tobacco 21 policy, Walgreens implemented a "card all" policy across its portfolio in October.

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