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State laws are far from one-size-fits-all; instead, they vary significantly. If you own or operate stores in more than one state or even within a state, and sell age-restricted products, such as tobacco and vaping products, it’s your responsibility to keep up with these law variations. With We Card, you don’t have to go at it alone in understanding the state laws.
Reinforce compliance education among your employees with We Card’s ID CHECK-UP training service. The mystery shopper program offers real-time practice with a We Card Checker, age 21-25, to ensure accurate performance in preventing underage e-cigarette, vaping and tobacco product sales. Users of the training service report improved employee compliance by as much as 40 percent.*          How it Works          Step 1:             A We Card Checker enters your store and attempts to purchase an age-restricted product.
We Card’s mission is to provide tools and training to help retailers prevent the underage sale of age restricted products.  For 26 years, We Card has offered a range of ala carte tools and a complete turn-key suite of products along with broad educational efforts to help retailers not only understand minimum age sales laws and requirements but comply with them. At We Card, you can find everything you need to get from zero to sixty quickly.  If your store only needs a few training tools, We Card has that too.
“Most kids I know have fakes” is a regular statement among many college kids.   Some fake IDs are altered by their owners, with date-of-birth numbers or photos changed.  Some IDs are expired and handed off to friends or younger siblings.  Trained employees can spot these IDs – a mismatched photo or an expiration. And while ‘old school’ fake IDs are still used, there’s a new class of fakes that are far more sophisticated.
Some retailers have moved to a policy of carding every customer who buys an age restricted product.  And some ID scanning technologies will not proceed with a transaction unless an ID is scanned. How does your store handle carding for age restricted product sales?  When it comes to asking for IDs, laws and regulations vary from state to state and the FDA sets a minimum carding age as well. 
You may not know it, but it’s likely your store has had an FDA compliance inspection using underage youth to attempt to purchase a tobacco or vapor product. Since 2010, FDA has conducted over 1.1 million store inspections. Nearly 88% of those inspections are flagged as a “No Violation” – which means the FDA inspected and did not find a violation -- a passed check.
When We Card started 26 years ago, our most effective method of teaching retail employees how to prevent underage sales of age-restricted products was in the classroom.  Instructor-led discussions and role playing with a class member allowed for practice while others in the class could see how to handle tough customer situations.  The classes were fantastic, expensive and effective in getting frontline employees prepared.
Owners and managers know that they are prominent members of the local community where their stores operate. Stores are often in high traffic areas where local residents come and go picking up needed items (particularly during a pandemic). This provides a great opportunity to let customers and community members know of your commitment to the local community and responsible retailing. This brings us to our final best practice #16          Be a Responsible Retailer: Get Involved in Your Local Community.  
The numbers speak for themselves. Retailers who sell age restricted products and regularly mystery shop their stores see a 95.5% pass rate.  While pass rates can vary, retailers who engage regular mystery shop services using the red and green card notification system are better prepared to pass an official government compliance check.
State and Federal Sales Laws on Vaping and Tobacco retail sales change fairly often.  The Federal minimum age law to buy vaping or tobacco products changed to age 21 in December 2019, and since that time many states have changed their laws to follow this new federal law.  Some laws change immediately with little or no time to prepare (which was the case for the new 21-year-old minimum-age law) and other law changes come along with plenty of lead time.  Clearly, the last thing you want is your customers knowing about a new law before your sales associates.


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