Walgreens sells a greater amount of tobacco products to minors than other pharmacies, says the Food and Drug Administration. Walgreens is now being called to meet with the FDA to review its tobacco policies.
The FDA is cracking down on the sale of tobacco and e-cigarette products to minors due to the large number of youth using e-cigarettes.
The FDA alleges that there have been 1,800 instances since 2010 in which Walgreens sold tobaccos products to underage buyers. The FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, calls Walgreens the “top violator“ when it comes to underage tobacco sales.
Gottleib says the situation is “disturbing, particularly since the company positions itself as a health-and-wellness-minded business.”
“These illegal sales must stop. 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,” says Gottleib.
According to CNN Business, Walgreens is ready to meet with the FDA.
“We have a zero tolerance policy prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors and any employee violating this policy is subject to immediate termination,” says the company in the statement.
CVS, another major pharmacy retailer, stopped selling tobacco products in 2014, and their sales fell 8%. However, the company states the sale of tobacco products “conflicted with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health.”