Younger e-cigarette enthusiasts who frequent Walgreen Company may be in for a future surprise.
Warning: If you’re still under 21 when the summer ends, Walgreens executives warned your immediate purchase plans will be detoured. If you attempt to buy e-cigarettes at any store, you will be turned away.
The second largest pharmacy chain in the U.S., Walgreens on April 23 formally adopted a nation-wide policy of halting all e-cigarette sales to anyone under 21. The new policy will go into effect in September, the company announced in a press release.
The moves came in the wake of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threatening the chain of nearly 10,000 drugstores with possible penalties after a series of stores were accused of selling to minors.
The FDA said in March Walgreens was the target of an undercover sting operation and “racked up almost 1,800 violations,” The New York Times reported.
Before departing his spot as FDA chief, Dr. Scott Gottlieb pointed to Walgreens for violating age regulations during the most during recent inspections.
The feds called for a meeting with the Walgreens brass, which attempted to defend itself with its “Card All” policy.
It was not enough, the feds said.
Walgreens’ policy change also paralleled moves by national rivals aiming to put a dent in the rising trend of teen vaping. Rite Aid Corporation earlier this month revised its vaping policy and announced it would pull all devices. Well out in front of the issue, CVS Pharmacy halted e-cigarette sales five years ago, according to The New York Times.
The movement has been spurred by about 12 states and hundreds of communities and cities who already implemented Tobacco 21 regulations.
On a federal level, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.) said he is preparing a bill to raise the national legal age to 21. McConnell anticipates introducing the bill in May.
Warning: Vaping enthusiasts who are under 21 and frequent Walgreens, enjoy your summer. Next fall, the sun sets on legal purchases.
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