Main Menu
Order We Card Materials
Training Resource Center
We Card
State Law and Store Policy


State Law and/or Store Policy

Require every employee to ask for identification in the form of a valid photo ID from any person who looks under the age of 27.

Carding people who look under 27 years of age remains a safeguard against selling tobacco to underage purchasers. Because people can don clothes, makeup, or even facial hair to make them look older, the best practice is to ask for ID from anyone who appears under the age of 27.

Educate employees about state laws and store policies

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have state laws making it illegal to sell tobacco products to any person under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah). Make sure new hires understand their state law. Store policies about when to ask for ID and disciplinary actions for selling tobacco to underage customers should also be clearly communicated to all employees.

Make sure store policies are fair and consistent.

Setting up fair and consistent store policies is a good way to make sure employees clearly understand their responsibility to refuse underage sales, especially those in situations not covered by state law.

When clerks fail to ask for ID, swift disciplinary action works well when used appropriately (when forming policies, remember, cashiers who fail compliance checks can often be the ones who never fail again). Hold management as well as clerks accountable for their storeís compliance with the law.

We Card Recommended Policies

Third-party sales ó a clerk may suspect an adult customer is purchasing tobacco products for a minor.

If you have reason to believe that an adult is buying tobacco for a
minor, the responsible thing to do is refuse the sale. In a number of states, the clerk and/or the buyer can receive stiff fines and even jail time when an adult purchases tobacco on behalf of a minor.

Customer who appears to be 18 or older but without ID.
Under the law, you are required to verify that the person attempting to purchase tobacco products is 18 or older. For your own protection, check the ID of anyone who appears to be under 27 years of age.

Customer who takes the product and leaves the money.
Treat this situation as a theft. Donít ring up the sale. Get a description of the person and notify your supervisor.

Regular adult customer without ID who approaches new clerk.
New clerks need to verify the age of all adult customers who appear to be under the age of 27. Other employees should not "vouch" for the age of customers.

Require all employees to pass a test.

A test is a good way to find out if an employee really understands the state law and store polices about selling tobacco products. Require all new hires to take a test focusing on tobacco sales before they get behind the sales counter. The We Card program can provide employee guides, reviews and quizzes.

new-elc-ad new-trc-ad