Amid FDA Crackdown, Walgreens Will Raise Age To 21 For Tobacco Purchases


2019-04-25 07:40:00 Forbes


MIAMI, FLORIDA - APRIL 02: A Walgreens store is seen on April 02, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. reported a fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed expectations and has slashed its full-year outlook in a reaction to the The move comes amid a crackdown by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Walgreens and other retailers for selling tobacco products to young people.Walgreens will still tobacco products, maintaining its contrast to rival CVS Health, which made a landmark 2014 decision to stop selling tobacco products in its stores.  “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,” Walgreens president of operations Richard Ashworth said Tuesday morning in a statement. “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 been under pressure after the FDA criticized the company for allowing young people to buy tobacco products. Shareholders, too, have been for years calling on Walgreens to stop sales of tobacco products altogether. The FDA in February put Walgreens on notice, initiating “enforcement action against certain" locations of Walgreens stores and other retailers for "repeated violations of restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including sales of cigars and menthol cigarettes to minors.” “Notably, Walgreens is currently the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, with 22 percent of the stores inspected having illegally sold tobacco products to minors,” the FDA said at the time. Meanwhile, Congress and several states including Illinois where Walgreens is headquartered have been pushing legislation and regulation that prevent people under the age of 21 from purchasing tobacco products. In a brief press release, Walgreens said its 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,” the drugstore chain said. “Walgreens has supported such legislativeproposals. Studies have shown cities that have enacted Tobacco 21 laws have seen a sharp decline in the tobacco use among young adults 18-20 years old.” Walgreens has been studying the purchase of tobacco by customers of all ages in the Gainesville market.
MIAMI , FLORIDA-APRIL 02:沃尔格林商店在2019年4月2日在弗洛里达州的迈阿密举行.Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc .公布的第二财季收益低于预期,并下调了全年业绩预期,以回应 此举出台之际,美国食品和药物管理局( FDA )正对沃尔格林( Walgreens )和其他零售商打击向年轻人销售烟草产品。沃尔格林仍将销售烟草产品,这与竞争对手 CVS Health 形成了鲜明对比。 CVS Health 在2014年做出了一个里程碑式的决定,决定停止在其门店销售烟草产品。 沃尔格林运营总裁理查德•阿什沃思( Richard Ashworth )周二上午在一份声明中表示:“我们看到了近期其他加强烟草销售政策的积极成果,并相信,下一步可能会对减少青少年和年轻人使用烟草产生更大影响。”“通过对药剂师和技术人员的持续培训和认证,我们还继续帮助和支持那些希望在生活中戒烟的人。” 在 FDA 批评该公司允许年轻人购买烟草产品后,沃尔格林公司一直处于压力之下。多年来,股东们也一直呼吁沃尔格林停止烟草产品的销售。 2月, FDA 通知沃尔格林公司,对沃尔格林商店和其他零售商的某些“地点”采取“执法行动”,因为“屡次违反对烟草产品销售和分销的限制,包括向未成年人销售雪茄和薄荷醇香烟。” “值得注意的是,沃尔格林目前是销售烟草产品的药店中最大的违反者,22%被检查的商店非法向未成年人销售烟草产品,” FDA 当时表示。 与此同时,国会和包括沃尔格林公司总部所在地伊利诺伊州在内的几个州一直在推动立法和法规,防止21岁以下的人购买烟草产品。 沃尔格林在一份简短的新闻稿中表示,其新的“烟草21”政策加强了该公司最近采取的其他措施,包括去年10月在全产业链实施“卡通卡”政策,该政策要求核查沃尔格林所有烟草销售情况,而不论其年龄大小。 该连锁药店表示:“该公司的行动也与最近颁布或正在考虑制定法律,将烟草销售限制在21岁及以上人群的各州和市政府的努力相一致。”“沃尔格林支持此类立法提案。研究表明,颁布了《21世纪烟草法案》的城市,18-20岁年轻人的烟草使用量急剧下降。” 沃尔格林一直在研究盖恩斯维尔市场所有年龄的消费者购买烟草的问题。