Keeping Your Business Safe: The Challenge of Preventing Underage Sales in Tobacco Retail

As a tobacco retailer, you face numerous challenges in running a successful business. One major issue is the risk of selling tobacco products to minors or non-smokers. Not only is this illegal, but it can also harm your reputation and put your business at risk. In this blog, we’ll explore the challenges you face in preventing underage sales and keeping your customers safe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. To combat this, federal and state laws have been enacted to regulate the sale of tobacco products. One key regulation is age verification, which requires retailers to verify the age of customers before selling them tobacco products. Unfortunately, many retailers struggle to comply with these regulations, which can lead to increased risk of selling to minors or non-smokers.

There are several factors that contribute to this challenge. One is the difficulty of accurately verifying a customer’s age. Many retailers rely on visual cues, such as the customer’s appearance, to determine age. However, this method is unreliable and can lead to mistakes. Another factor is the pressure to make sales. Some retailers may be tempted to overlook age verification requirements in order to make a sale. This is a dangerous practice that can lead to legal and financial consequences.

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To avoid these risks, it’s important to implement effective age verification procedures in your store. One method is to require customers to present valid identification before purchasing tobacco products. This can include a driver’s license, passport, or other government-issued ID. You should also train your employees on how to accurately verify age and the consequences of selling to minors. By taking these steps, you can reduce the risk of underage sales and protect your business.

In addition to age verification, it’s important to understand your customers’ preferences and purchase history. This can help you avoid selling tobacco products to non-smokers or those who are trying to quit. One way to do this is to implement a customer loyalty program that tracks purchases and preferences. This can help you identify trends and tailor your inventory to meet customer needs.

Overall, the risk of selling tobacco products to minors or non-smokers is a serious concern for tobacco retailers. By implementing effective age verification procedures and understanding your customers’ preferences, you can reduce the risk of underage sales and protect your business.

We, at, are here to assist retailers by providing the largest selection of point of sale tobacco fixtures and cigarette displays, and offering retailers the fixtures and point of sale products that they need to keep cigarette, tobacco and smokeless sales a viable and profitable category.

Visit our website to view a full range of tobacco fixtures and cigarette displays. With the exception of custom units, all pricing is disclosed on our website and online ordering is very simple. Call us and we’ll provide you with immediate pricing for all custom units.

(866) 630-2100

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Jim Richards

Jim Richards is President of TheCstoreEstore, the leading online distributor of point of sale cigarette racks, tobacco fixtures and cigarette display cabinets and the exclusive manufacturer of M-Series Overhead Cigarette Racks.