Attorneys for Iowa and 39 other states have been pressuring six major retailers to make significant changes in the way they sell tobacco to reduce sales minors and cut the possibility of theft. Walgreens is the first to agree to the new restrictions for cigarette and tobacco sales, most of which are already in place here because of Iowa’s tough laws. Walgreens has agreed to put all tobacco out of customers’ reach behind the counter, get rid of cigarette vending machines, and do random compliance checks of the chain’s stores. Walgreens is installing new computer software which forces clerks to enter the birthdate of customers as they buy cigarettes; regulators believe that will force a drivers license check. The company has also agreed to quit handing out free samples of cigarettes and other tobacco products. Walgreens has 50 stores in Iowa.Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says the restrictions are a good way to try to keep kids from getting smokes. Miller says studies now show the younger a person starts smoking, the harder it is to quit.
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