Governor Tom Wolf recently issued a proclamation for “We Card” awareness month. The “We Card” national non-profit, which works to prevent age-restricted product sales to minors, is focusing on the importance of frontline employee training. Cashiers are ultimately responsible to properly card and deny minors’ attempts to purchase age-restricted products.
Doug Anderson, president of The We Card Program, says knowing the law and posting signs within the store isn’t enough.
“Just like any other business, employees need tools and job aids to execute their tasks and responsibilities,” Anderson says.
He recommends using tools like We Card’s age-of-purchase calendar and programmed cash register age prompts to help employees calculate a customer’s age to avoid mistakes during peak hours or when there’s an inattentive moment for the cashier.
“We Card is a tremendous resource for retailers who fully embrace their role in spotting and denying underage customers’ attempts to purchase tobacco and vaping products. It’s a top priority for convenience stores and why our support of the We Card Program as a founding board member in 1995 continues so strongly today,” said Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of Government Relations for the National Association of Convenience Stores.
“Responsibly retailing age-restricted products like tobacco is an on-going effort, and for the nation’s independent supermarkets, We Card is an essential training and education resource,” said Peter Larkin, President and CEO of the National Grocers Association.
Last year, the FDA started regulating e-cigarettes and vaping products. So far during fiscal year 2017, the FDA has conducted nearly 100,000 store inspections using minors to check if retailers are asking for ID and denying minors’ attempts to purchase tobacco and e-vapor products. We Card training applies to those products as well.
The FDA has issued official guidance for Tobacco Retailer Training Programs. We Card’s elearning training not only matches this federal curriculum but exceeds it with retail-focused emphasis on customer service, role-playing and interactive gaming – earning the training an American Business Awards 2013 Bronze Stevie® Award as a Best Training Site.
Throughout September’s We Card Awareness Month and right up until New Year’s Eve, We Card will take retailers’ orders for 2018 We Card materials. Information on We Card training, signs and other resources can be located on its website at www.WeCard.org.
The We Card Program, Inc., a national non-profit organization representing a unified effort among trade associations, retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers, was created 22 years ago to support retailers of tobacco and other age-restricted products. Individual retail establishments as well as large retail chains use We Card’s educational and training services to comply with federal and state laws while working to prevent underage tobacco, e-vapor and other age-restricted product sales. PFMA supports We Card’s ongoing efforts to educate and train retailers.