By John Castle
Rather than waiting for various state governments or the federal government to implement Tobacco 21 legislation, pharmacy chain Walgreen’s has done so as company policy across their entire chain of stores nationwide.
The move comes after Walgreen’s had been found to have sold tobacco products to minors almost 1,800 times in undercover compliance checks across its 10,000 retail points of sale.
The measure may prove to be less burdensome to adults than anti-tobacco activists hope for. Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids has objected to national Tobacco 21 legislation proposed by Senator Mitch McConnell, dubbed the Stopping Consumption of Tobacco by Teens Act because it would accurately classify heat-not-burn devices like Philip Morris’s iQOS as vapor based, rather than combustion based, tobacco products. Said Matthew Myers, President of Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids:
““Tobacco companies must not be allowed to use this legislation as a Trojan horse for special-interest provisions that harm kids and public health.”
It is unclear why Myers would refer to accurate classification of products as a “special interest.”