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Email: martin@martinfeinberg.com

Culver City Walgreen and Rite Aids to Raise Age for Tobacco Products

Image is a kid breaking a cigarette in half.Local listing agent Martin Feinberg notes that Walgreens and Rite Aid stores in California recently announced changes to their tobacco policies.  In the past, anyone 18 and older was allowed to purchase tobacco products at Walgreens and Rite Aid stores.  The new policy, which will be implemented at all Culver City Real Estate area stores later this year, has changed that age to 21.

Walgreens will stop selling tobacco products to people who aren’t legally allowed to drink alcohol beginning on September 1 2019. Rite Aid will follow suit and plans to implement the policy at all stores by July 22.

In California, roughly 13.6 percent of high schoolers have stated that they use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

According to Rite Aid’s chief operating officer Bryan Everett, “by raising the purchase age, we are furthering our commitment to promoting responsible access to tobacco products.”

Previously Both Rite Aid and Walgreens had implemented policies requiring clerks to ask for an ID on all purchases of age-restricted items.  Studies have shown that when local laws have raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 it results in a sharp decline in tobacco use among adults 18-20 years old.

“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,” Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations, said in a news release.

Martin Feinberg, Realtor, was interested to learn that the change in age for both stores comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration accused some Walgreens and Circle K store locations of repeatedly selling tobacco products to kids, including cigars and menthol cigarettes. The FDA also singled out Walgreens as a top offender among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, claiming 22 percent of inspected stores sold tobacco to underage people.

Image is four girls jumping in unison while holding hands with backs to the camera.Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the FDA, said in a release everyone should work to keep tobacco products away from kids.

“Retailers in particular – especially those who position themselves as health-and-wellness-minded businesses – are on the frontlines of these efforts and must take that legal obligation seriously,” said Gottlieb. “I’m also deeply disturbed that a single pharmacy chain racked up almost 1,800 violations for selling tobacco products to minors across the country.”