If you aren’t 21 years old, chances are pretty good that you’ll soon be denied the opportunity to buy tobacco products at any Walgreens store in Michigan’s Great Southwest…or anywhere else for that matter.
Walgreens is implementing a new, chain-wide policy that will require customers to be at least 21 years old in order to purchase tobacco products in its stores, according to a company announcement today. The policy will be effective September 1, 2019, and is the most recent step in an ongoing effort to further prevent youth access to tobacco products.
Walgreens’ President of Operations, Richard Ashworth, says, “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.” Ashworth adds, “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.”
The new Tobacco 21 policy reinforces other recent steps the company has taken, including the implementation of a “Card All” policy chain-wide last October, which requires verification regardless of age on all tobacco sales in Walgreens stores. The company’s action also aligns with the efforts of states and municipalities who have recently enacted, or are considering, laws to restrict tobacco sales to people 21 and older. Walgreens has supported such legislative proposals. Studies have shown cities that have enacted Tobacco 21 laws have seen a sharp decline in tobacco use among young adults 18-20 years old.
Additionally, the company continues to focus efforts on promoting cessation products and services, and offers a comprehensive suite of digital information and support tools to patients who want to quit smoking.
Walgreens, one of the nation’s largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. As of August 31, 2018, Walgreens operates 9,560 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.