Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

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Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by Brian Lutz » April 2nd, 2019, 11:27 am

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/20 ... 329621002/

The FDA has been cracking down on underage tobacco sales lately, and Walgreens has been called out for lax enforcement of age requirements. The report alleged that minors were able to purchase tobacco products at 22% of Walgreens' stores that were tested. Other chains (gas stations in particular) were also called out for high rates of tobacco sales to minors.

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by storewanderer » April 2nd, 2019, 6:23 pm

Walgreens has a strict policy in place to ID people under a certain age (30 or 40). It must be too easy to bypass the prompt on the register.

I am not sure if they have gone as far as Rite Aid who outright requires the ID to be scanned by the employee no matter how old the customer is (good way to drive off the 60 year olds buying beer and cigarettes by asking them for ID).

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by Super S » April 10th, 2019, 9:18 am

storewanderer wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 6:23 pm
Walgreens has a strict policy in place to ID people under a certain age (30 or 40). It must be too easy to bypass the prompt on the register.

I am not sure if they have gone as far as Rite Aid who outright requires the ID to be scanned by the employee no matter how old the customer is (good way to drive off the 60 year olds buying beer and cigarettes by asking them for ID).
It will be interesting to see how this works in coming years as states are now increasing the age to buy tobacco to 21. In the case of Rite Aid, this could potentially serve as a database for insurance companies to deny claims based on what you purchased, and could pose a problem if a non-smoker was making a purchase for a legal smoker while on a trip to a store for something else. I have heard of some stores using loyalty card info to fight insurance claims....

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by storewanderer » April 10th, 2019, 7:39 pm

Super S wrote:
April 10th, 2019, 9:18 am
storewanderer wrote:
April 2nd, 2019, 6:23 pm
Walgreens has a strict policy in place to ID people under a certain age (30 or 40). It must be too easy to bypass the prompt on the register.

I am not sure if they have gone as far as Rite Aid who outright requires the ID to be scanned by the employee no matter how old the customer is (good way to drive off the 60 year olds buying beer and cigarettes by asking them for ID).
It will be interesting to see how this works in coming years as states are now increasing the age to buy tobacco to 21. In the case of Rite Aid, this could potentially serve as a database for insurance companies to deny claims based on what you purchased, and could pose a problem if a non-smoker was making a purchase for a legal smoker while on a trip to a store for something else. I have heard of some stores using loyalty card info to fight insurance claims....
It may be that I don't buy much of the stuff, but I would never submit to having my ID scanned electronically for age (data is not used for any other purpose... they say) by a retailer when buying alcohol or tobacco. I can see how people who buy these items daily just accept it and are used to it.

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by cjd » April 21st, 2019, 7:51 am

I wonder how the fact that Walgreens still sells cigarettes, causes them to be perceived, when CVS was seen in good light when they stopped selling them?

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by storewanderer » April 21st, 2019, 7:18 pm

cjd wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 7:51 am
I wonder how the fact that Walgreens still sells cigarettes, causes them to be perceived, when CVS was seen in good light when they stopped selling them?
Ending cigarette sales at CVS was a profitability decision, it was a money losing category with too much shrink, it just so happened to also be a decision they could spin as positive for their image.

I think we will start to see more and more larger sized retailers like grocers drop tobacco sales as consumption of cigarettes continues to decline.

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by wnetmacman » April 22nd, 2019, 2:20 pm

storewanderer wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 7:18 pm
Ending cigarette sales at CVS was a profitability decision, it was a money losing category with too much shrink, it just so happened to also be a decision they could spin as positive for their image.
Unless the employees were stealing them, how could there be any shrink? They had been behind the checkouts for 25+ years.
storewanderer wrote:I think we will start to see more and more larger sized retailers like grocers drop tobacco sales as consumption of cigarettes continues to decline.
Keep in mind that I'm not a smoker and never will be. But the non-health retailers will keep them for one reason: money. Every retailer has them behind a counter now, so shrink is minimal. The only way some of them will take them out (like Target did decades ago) is when they stop selling enough to be profitable. When companies like Walmart sell them at the lowest possible profitable price to keep them selling, they aren't stopping any time soon.

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by storewanderer » April 22nd, 2019, 6:31 pm

wnetmacman wrote:
April 22nd, 2019, 2:20 pm
storewanderer wrote:
April 21st, 2019, 7:18 pm
Ending cigarette sales at CVS was a profitability decision, it was a money losing category with too much shrink, it just so happened to also be a decision they could spin as positive for their image.
Unless the employees were stealing them, how could there be any shrink? They had been behind the checkouts for 25+ years.
storewanderer wrote:I think we will start to see more and more larger sized retailers like grocers drop tobacco sales as consumption of cigarettes continues to decline.
Keep in mind that I'm not a smoker and never will be. But the non-health retailers will keep them for one reason: money. Every retailer has them behind a counter now, so shrink is minimal. The only way some of them will take them out (like Target did decades ago) is when they stop selling enough to be profitable. When companies like Walmart sell them at the lowest possible profitable price to keep them selling, they aren't stopping any time soon.
This is the problem. Internal shrink in the tobacco category. It is a category that just isn't profitable.

Other shrink comes from the losses on having to throw away "odd" slow selling cigarette types that are not returned to the vendor in time to obtain credit.

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by submariner » April 24th, 2019, 7:17 am

It's worth noting that Walgreens and Rite Aid have now announced they will raise the tobacco purchase age to 21.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/23/rite-ai ... -lead.html

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Re: Walgreens under fire for underage tobacco sales

Post by Brian Lutz » April 24th, 2019, 7:57 am

Not sure about other states, but currently the legislature in Washington state is in the process of raising the age for tobacco purchases to 21 statewide.

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