FILE PHOTO: A sign rests on a counter at a Walgreens pharmacy store in Austin, TX, U.S., March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

(Reuters) – Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc said on Tuesday its drugstores will sell tobacco products to customers who are at least 21 years old under a new policy, effective September.

In the face of an “epidemic” rise in tobacco products use among middle and high school students, the U.S. health regulator has been introducing new policies to restrict teen access to such products.

Last week, U.S. Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell disclosed plans to introduce a legislation to raise the minimum age for buying tobacco products, including vaping devices, to 21 from 18.

Walgreens, which operates 9,560 drugstores across the country, has in the past been pulled up by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for flouting tobacco sale rules by selling tobacco products to minors.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli



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