ARLINGTON, VA—Training cashiers or hanging a “We Card” sign in the window isn’t the only thing retailers need to do to truly prevent tobacco or other age-restricted product sales to minors.
That’s why during We Card Awareness Month in September, the national non-profit will focus on frontline employees – the cashiers – where the ultimate responsibility falls on whether or not to properly “card” and deny minors’ attempts to purchase age-restricted products.
Governors from 33 states have issued Governor’s Proclamations or Letters of Support for We Card Awareness Month. Those states include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. More Governors are expected to issue Proclamations throughout September.
“Knowing what the law requires or posting the iconic yellow and red We Card signage throughout a store isn’t enough,” said Doug Anderson, president of The We Card Program.
“Just like any other business, employees need tools and job aids to execute their tasks and responsibilities,” said Anderson. Tools like We Card’s age-of-purchase calendar and programmed cash register age prompts help employees
“We Card is a tremendous resource for retailers who fully embrace their role in spotting and denying underage customers’ attempts to purchase tobacco and vaping products. It’s a top priority for convenience stores and why our support of the We Card Program as a founding board member in 1995 continues so strongly today,” said Lyle Beckwith, Senior Vice President of Government Relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores.
Throughout all of September’s We Card Awareness Month and right up until New Year’s Eve, We Card will be rapidly taking retailers’ orders for 2018 We Card materials. Retailers rely on We Card’s Age-of-Purchase Calendar – a daily reminder age calculation tool – and a variety of other point-of-sale tools, eLearning training courses and ID Check-Up mystery shopping services to help employees prevent tobacco sales to minors.
Helping retailers successfully prevent e-vapor sales to minors is also a principal focus for We Card. In addition to state law requirements that require retailers to deny sales of those products to minors, in 2016 FDA started its regulation of e-cigarette and vaping products. In FFY 2017 the FDA has conducted nearly 100,000 store inspections using minors to check if retailers are asking for ID and denying minors’ attempts to purchase tobacco and e-vapor products.
Grocery and supermarket stores are also tuning up for We Card Awareness Month. “Responsibly retailing age-restricted products like tobacco is an on-going effort, and for the nation’s independent supermarkets, We Card is an essential training and education resource,” said Peter Larkin,
FDA has issued official guidance for Tobacco Retailer Training Programs. We Card’s
About We Card: The We Card Program, Inc. is a national non-profit organization that represents a unified effort among trade associations, retailers,