1,400 Walgreens stores sold tobacco to minors, FDA says

The FDA is putting Walgreens "on notice" for allegedly selling tobacco products to minors at 1,397 of its stores.

The agency already is working to block some Walgreens locations from selling tobacco products to minors for 30 days as a result of repeat violations.

Walgreens is the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, according to the FDA. About 22 percent of the 6,350 stores it inspected caught employees illegally selling tobacco products to minors. In total, including repeat offenses, Walgreens had 1,800 violations for selling products to minors.

"I will be writing the corporate management of Walgreens and requesting a meeting with them to discuss whether there is a corporatewide issue related to their stores' noncompliance and put them on notice that the FDA is considering additional enforcement avenues to address their record of violative tobacco sales to youth," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.  

Walgreens told CNBC that it takes the matter "very seriously" and has taken a number of steps to address the agency's concerns.


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