A press release has been published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. on March 4th, 2019. According to this press release, about 15 retailers have been found allegedly selling the tobacco products to minors.
This press release has been released as a part of FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan. The FDA has called out 15 national retailers for selling tobacco products to the minors violating the federal law. These retailers include Walgreens, Walmart, 7-Eleven, Kroger and other well-known names.
These retailers were found selling tobacco to underage consumers for more than 15% times. Among the list of 15 offenders, Walgreens was the one which has been reported to sell such prohibited products at 22% of its locations.
Walgreens Company was contacted by the agency to discuss the issue as Walgreens has been found to be the top offender. Walgreens has now planned to establish a policy. Under this policy, the customer will be needed to show the ID for purchasing the tobacco products.
FDA department stated in a press release, “Today, we’re taking several new actions, focused on both retailers and manufacturers, as part of our commitment to combat youth access to e-cigarettes.”
FDA department has also added, “Because tobacco use is almost always initiated and established during adolescence, early intervention including making sure tobacco products aren’t being marketed to, sold to, or used by kids is critical.”
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency’s commissioner said in a statement, “The company’s stores have racked up almost 1,800 violations across the country. Both the rate of violations and sheer volume of violative inspections of Walgreens stores are disturbing, particularly since the company positions itself as a health-and-wellness-minded business.”
Companies like Marathon, Exxon, Sunoco, Mobil, Citgo have recorded a violation rate between 35 to 44 percent. Whereas, Shell, Chevron, Casey’s General Stores, 7-Eleven ranged between 25 to 34 percent and violation rate of Family Dollar, Kroger, Walgreens, Circle K, Wal-Mart was between 15 to 24 percent in all inspected stores.
To minimize the health consequences of tobacco as well as the use of nicotine, retailers are on the frontlines. These retailers are advised by the FDA to reduce their practices against the legal norms. It is imperative for public health.
As a result of the action taken by the FDA, many stores have already lowered the product availability on their stores. FDA has also asked the stores to submit their plans to prevent youth from consuming tobacco products.