Magazine article Drug Topics

Walgreens Steps Up Efforts to ID Minors Buying Tobacco

Magazine article Drug Topics

Walgreens Steps Up Efforts to ID Minors Buying Tobacco

Article excerpt

Walgreens is rolling out a feature incorporated into its cash register software system that requires store clerks to enter the birth date of a customer before a tobacco sale can proceed.

Carol Hively, a Walgreen spokeswoman, said the drugstore chain has been experiencing an ongoing problem with clerks selling cigarettes to minors in some parts of the country. She would not disclose where these problems are occurring but did say that the ID feature will be rolled out chainwide within the year.

Hively went on to say that Walgreens has been the target of stings in which the police or the attorney general send a minor into the store to purchase cigarettes. "They intentionally choose people who look much older than they are," said Hively.

Walgreens, which trains its clerks to ask for an ID card before selling tobacco, found that the company's training is ineffective. The clerk asks for the ID card, but even though the ID indicates the customer is a minor, the clerk frequently sells the cigarettes anyway Hively said the clerks are in a hurry, they are not looking at the birth date, or they can't compute the age fast enough-especially if they are tired. …

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