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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:
FDA has increased its fines to reflect rising inflation so as of 11-15-21, all levels of fines on the illegal underage sale of age-restricted products have gone up.  FDA hasn't changed the first violation as a warning but keep in mind 1) not checking an under 27 year old customer's ID and 2) selling to someone underage counts as two violations which means a single compliance inspection can get you to 2 violations.  The previous fine was $297, and the new fine is $301.  This doesn't seem like much until you get to higher violation amounts.  Check out our updated chart on these fines in our 
Fake IDs are becoming more common particularly sophisticated Fake IDs manufactured using state-of-the-art printing and lamination. These fake ID's not only have an authentic looking picture but also have a bar code on the back that matches the date of birth on the front of the ID.  When this type of fake ID is scanned, it can produce an okay to sell  result.  What should a retailer do?
Since we launched our Manager Training Course a few years ago, we've gotten lots of feedback and learned some things along the way.  We've taken the latest in online training and combined it with your feedback to create the best manager learning experience on how to prevent underage sales of age restricted products.   Now we're getting the word out that there's a new manager course in town.
September is We Card Awareness Month and We Card is focusing on some key reminders for retailers to make sure they do all they can do to prevent underage tobacco and vapor sales.
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.)
Lots of things are underway to raise awareness of responsible retailing as we head into the Fall. 


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