Rite Aid will increase the age to purchase tobacco products to 21 consistent with the company’s commitment to promoting responsible access to tobacco products. The drug store retailer previously announced that it will remove e-cigarettes and vaping products chain-wide. These actions will go into effect across all Rite Aid stores within 90 days.
“Raising the age for purchasing tobacco products is an important step in our efforts to ensure that these products do not fall into the hands of children and teens,” said Bryan Everett, COO. “Our decision is directly related to research from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that shows over 80 percent of adult smokers smoked their first cigarette before they turned 18, and nearly 95 percent started before age 21. By raising the purchase age, we are furthering our commitment to promoting responsible access to tobacco products.”
Rite Aid will continue to enforce the company’s chainwide “ID All” policy that requires identification to purchase age-restricted items, including tobacco products. Rite Aid will also continue efforts to help support those who want to quit. To date, the company has significantly reduced the visibility and footprint of its tobacco offering across all stores, while expanding its smoking cessation category. Rite Aid has also trained its pharmacists to provide counseling through programs such as “Quit For You,” which takes a personalized wellness approach to quitting smoking that is unlike any other smoking cessation program.
Headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Rite Aid Corp. had fiscal 2019 annual revenues of $21.6 billion.