As the number of children using e-cigarettes remains at epidemic levels, the FDA has announced new actions that are currently being taken focusing on both retailers and manufacturers, as part of our commitment to combat youth access to e-cigarettes.
On March 4th, 2019 a letter was sent to Walgreens corporate management requesting a meeting to discuss whether there is a corporate-wide issue related to their stores’ track record of violating the law by illegally selling tobacco products to kids. Last month alone, the company’s stores have racked up almost 1,800 violations across the country. Walgreens is currently the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, with 22 percent of the more than 6,350 stores inspected having illegally sold tobacco products to minors. As the leaders of the FDA note, this is disturbing, particularly since the company positions itself as a health-and-wellness-minded business.
Walgreens is not the only corporate owned chain and franchise stores with very high rates of violations for illegal sales of tobacco products to minors.
The FDA plans to hold these companies accountable as well! Ignoring the law and then paying associated fines and penalties can no longer be the cost of ‘doing business.’
The stakes are too high for our young people and our country’s decades-long fight to reduce the morbidity and mortality that accompanies tobacco product use.
What are your thoughts about this?