We Card has been offering a best practice survey to retailers for the past 10 years. More than 2,500 retailers have completed the survey and we've seen improvements in how retailers have implemented best practices to prevent the underage sale of tobacco and vapor products. (Take our survey here to see how you measure up.)
We thought it might be useful to recap a few highlights from the survey, report on any changes we’ve noticed over the past decade and provide you with a link to a We Card resource.
Here's a quick rundown:
-- Most retailers (82%) have policies in place that extend beyond state and federal laws and cover product theft, confrontational situations, and more. You can find a sample Company Policy Template at our Resource Center.
-- Retailers continue to offer refresher training regularly to employees to make sure they are up to date on laws and regulations.
-- Not surprisingly computer-based training has risen dramatically since 2010 from 40% to 62% in 2021. Check out We Card eLearning.
-- Employee testing after training on how to sell tobacco and vapor products has been steady from day one at around 50% but maintaining records of the testing has risen from 40% to nearly 80%. (FDA requires retailers to maintain employee records for up to 4 years.) See our summary of FDA Requirements
-- Mystery shopping to make sure employees are properly asking for IDs has risen significantly in the past year to nearly 80% from a steady rate of 40% over previous years. Check out our mystery shop service: ID Check-Up.
-- Retailers have improved their communication with local communities with 73% reporting letting the local community know what stores are doing to ensure minors are unable to purchase tobacco or vaping products. See more on best practice #16.
-- And the "most skipped" question according to our survey is whether retailers terminate employment of employees who fail a company sponsored compliance check. (This answer remains steady at roughly 40%.)
Meanwhile, We Card Awareness month is almost here. Awareness Month brings forward an opportunity for retailers to ensure they are doing all they can to prevent underage tobacco and vapor sales. Including:
About We Card: The We Card Program, Inc. is a national non-profit organization that represents a unified effort among trade associations, retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. It was created 26 years ago to support retailers of tobacco and other age-restricted products. Individual retail establishments as well as large retail chains use We Card's educational and training services to comply with federal and state laws while working to prevent underage tobacco, e-vapor, and other age-restricted product sales. National and state retail trade associations, government officials, community groups and others also support We Card's ongoing efforts to educate and train retailers.