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Training employees is vital and making sure they have the knowledge they need to do their job effectively can make all the difference. Do they know the correct age to sell tobacco or vaping products? (Hint 21) Recent research shows that some folks weren’t aware that the law changed nationally to age 21 for tobacco and vaping products.
Reading the news headlines you might think that those underage are getting tobacco and vapor products primarily by buying them from retail outlets. This is not the case.
Research conducted by We Card shows that employees who fail compliance checks often do so after they have asked for ID. Many employees look at the ID and then don’t do the age calculation properly and proceed with the sale. One of the reasons we hear is that:  “I thought that they were old enough to buy” This may happen even when examining an ID that shows the customer is under the legal age to purchase age restricted products. 
According to a 2017 survey conducted by NACS of more than a 1,000 consumers, many Americans got their start working in a convenience store. It’s a great place to gain experience, work with customers and learn the ropes. 
We Card kicks off its Awareness Month September 2020, and lots of things are underway to raise awareness of responsible retailing as we head into the Fall.
In its 25-year history, We Card has gone from a startup nonprofit to the go-to organization for training materials and age-verification tools for retailers. During that time, the words ‘We Card’ transitioned to an action verb, a retail company policy and a corporate social responsibility program. Overall, We Card has played a major role in moving from a 40.1% violation rate in 1997 to a 9.6% violation rate in 2018.
The latest federal government research data conducted by the CDC indicates that among current electronic vapor product users who were aged ≤17 years, the most commonly reported usual source of electronic vapor products was borrowing them from someone else (42.8%).   The related data analysis points out that those aged ≤17 years primarily got vapor products on the Internet; gave someone else money to buy them; borrowed them from someone else; got them from a person who could legally buy them, or go
Convenience retailers have unique challenges when it comes making sure every customer is satisfied with the point of sale experience.  One of the best ways to prepare for the range of challenges front line employees face is to provide practice situations where the stakes are low and the opportunity for learning is high.  This leads us to our next best practice #6 Simulate Difficult Situations That Occur at the Point-of-Sale
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
In March FDA halted compliance checks -- sometimes called stings -- because of the Coronavirus or COVID-19.  This halt continued until recently when the FDA announced a change.  On July 10,

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