Rite Aid to raise tobacco buying age to 21

Rite Aid to raise tobacco buying age to 21
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Pharmacy chain Rite Aid on Tuesday announced that it will increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco products at its stores to 21. 

Rite Aid also announced earlier this month that it would remove e-cigarettes and vaping products from its stores. Both changes will take effect within 90 days. 

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"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, chief operating officer of Rite Aid Corporation.

Walgreens also announced Tuesday that it would increase its minimum age of sale for tobacco products to 21. 

The moves come as more states debate raising the minimum purchasing age to 21. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Hobbled NRA shows strength with Trump MORE (R-Ky.) said last week he would introduce legislation to raise the age nationwide. 

The Food and Drug Administration says the U.S. is facing a youth vaping epidemic, with 3.5 million middle and high school students smoking e-cigarettes in 2018.