Retailers are some of the most talented when it comes to guessing age. When checking IDs for an age restricted product, employees look at customers, then look at their IDs and check the date-of-birth. After enough repetition, it may get easier to guess how old someone is.
And this talent can sometimes get in the way. Why? Because it doesn’t matter how old a customer looks, it’s whether they are carded. The FDA requires everyone under 30 be carded.
This brings us to Best Practice #5
Train and Require Every Employee to Ask For Valid Identification From Every Person Under the age of 30 Who Attempts to Purchase Tobacco and/or Vaping Products.
What this means is that retailers shouldn’t just require this, they should also train employees to ask for ID and know how to properly check the age on a valid government issued ID.
A few years ago, we asked retailers why they sold to someone underage. Universally they told us that they thought the purchaser was “old enough” to buy tobacco or vaping products. But that’s not enough -- employees need to ask, is this person under 30 and if there’s any doubt, ask for ID.
Another way to put it, is THINK 30.
And beyond thinking 30, there are clues that retailers who are properly trained can look for to help make the under 30 call. Those underage are creative and can change appearance, attire and other things that might lead to a missed guess and an underage sale. Learn what these clues are.