COLORADO – Walgreens is strengthing its policies related to tobacco sales.
The drugstore chain announced Tuesday that it will start requiring customers to be at least 21 years old to buy tobacco products in its store nationwide.
The measure comes just weeks after Food and Drug Administration officials called the drugstore chain one of the top violators for allegedly selling cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products to minors.
Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1033 into law in late March allowing individual cities in Colorado to pass their own local tobacco policies.
Aspen became the first city in Colorado to enact a law requiring customers to be 21 to purchase tobacco products.
Four other cities have followed suit including Basalt, Avon, Carbondale and most recently Edgewater joined the “Tobacco 21” movement.
Members of the Denver City Council recently introduced legislation to raise the age limit to buy tobacco products in the city to 21.
Currently, Colorado has a below national average rate of high school students smoking but a slightly above average rate of adult smokers according to Tobacco 21.
Walgreens says it believes this step can further reduce tobacco use among teens and young adults.
The new policy will go into effect on September 1, 2019.
Rival drug store chain CVS stopped selling all tobacco products in 2014.
Plans are also underway in Congress to introduce legislation that raises the minimum age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21 nationwide.