Rite Aid Increases Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid Corp. is increasing the age to purchase tobacco products in its stores to 21.
The drugstore chain made the announcement on April 23. The policy goes into effect 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, CEO of Rite Aid. "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," he added.
Rite Aid previously made the decision to remove electronic cigarettes and vapor products from its backbar within the next three months, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
According to Rite Aid, the company will continue to enforce its chainwide "ID All" policy that requires identification to purchase age-restricted items, including tobacco products.
The retailer's move followed Walgreens' decision to implement a Tobacco 21 policy across its stores beginning Sept. 1.
Camp Hill-based Rite Aid has 3,585 locations in the United States.