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We Card eNews

Preventing underage sales of age-restricted products can be a lot easier by leaning on The We Card Program. We Card’s Renewal Kit is chock full of tools to help retailers ensure that they are doing everything they can do to prevent underage sales which can lead to stiff fines and penalties.
As 2022 winds down, now is the time to think about preparing your store for the new year. One of the most important things retailers can do to be ready for 2023 is to have We Card Age-of-Purchase Calendars ready at each register.
We Card September 2022 Awareness Month is particularly important as violation rates are on the rise the past few months according to FDA enforcement data posted to its website. We Card is asking retailers to re-invigorate their responsible retailing efforts of age-restricted products with FOUR simple steps.
The latest FDA compliance reports show an upward trend in violations since the national 21-year minimum-age law took effect in December 2019. And with the raise in the minimum age from 18 or 19 to a national law of 21 for vapor and tobacco products comes a change in the way compliance checks may be conducted in your state. Under contract from the FDA, more states are using an older age group of 18-20 year olds when conducting underage sale inspections.
Your Customers and New Hires May Not Be Aware The legal age of purchase for tobacco and vapor products rose to 21 three years ago, but it’s still news to a lot of people. Your customers may not know about the law, and your new hires may not know either. Customers who don't know about the new federal law can pose a conflict when employees deny their attempted purchase, and untrained newly hired employees can make that mistake of not “carding” or selling to a 20-year old.
It should come as no surprise that online and computer-based learning have risen dramatically over the past decade. The COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home orders made eLearning a crucial part of every business’ training program. Results from the We Card Best Practices Survey show the rate of eLearning rose to 62 percent in 2021 from 40 percent in 2010.
A local retailer in Arlington, VA had revised store hours posted on the front door. The manager, who most customers know well, said he had to reduce the hours because he can't find people to staff the store during normal hours. "My customers love our store and ask about the staff they meet when they come in," he added, "but it's hard to find the right people and training them is a significant up-front investment."
FDA has again increased its fines to reflect rising inflation so as of 3-17-22, all levels of fines on the illegal underage sale of age-restricted products have increased.  
Early indications are showing a spike in violation rates Asking for ID can be challenging, doing so during masking and a global pandemic even more so.  The minimum age sales law changed nationally to Under 21 just two years ago.   Most states followed suit and passed laws to parallel the federal 21-year minimum age law. 
How do underage people get access to tobacco and vapes? The data is clear. Most of the time, youth report getting their tobacco and vapor products through the three B’s: bumming, borrowing or buying it from someone else. We know this from years of data, especially from the CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which surveys students every two years on tobacco and vaping and other risky behaviors. Here is what the surveys found:

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