Starting Sept. 1, you'll have to be 21 to buy tobacco products at Walgreens in West Michigan and beyond.

The new, chain-wide policy is the company's "most recent step in an ongoing effort to further prevent youth access to tobacco products."

Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations, said in a release,

“We’ve seen positive results from other recent efforts to strengthen our policies related to tobacco sales, and believe this next step can be even more impactful to reduce its use among teens and young adults. Through ongoing training and certification for pharmacists and technicians, we also continue to help and support people looking to quit the use of tobacco in their lives.”

Also noted in the release,

The company’s action also aligns with the efforts of states and municipalities who have recently enacted, or are considering, laws to restrict tobacco sales to people 21 and older."

MLive reports that in October, Walgreens implemented a “Card All” policy, requiring clerks to card anyone purchasing a tobacco product, regardless of age.

In February, the Food and Drug Administration put Walgreens "on notice" in February for allegedly selling tobacco products to minors, CNBC reports. The FDA called Walgreens a "top violator" among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, with 22 percent of the stores they'd inspected found illegally selling tobacco products to minors.

Walgreens' website lists more than 50 locations in the West Michigan area.

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