Apr 24, 2019

Walgreens to raise its minimum age to buy tobacco to 21

Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Walgreens announced yesterday that it won't sell tobacco products to anyone younger than 21, beginning in September — a response to the FDA's crackdown on its sales to young people, Forbes reports.

Why it matters: The rise in teen vaping has alarmed public health officials, prompting strong regulatory action and, increasingly, support of a higher smoking age in response.

  • Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he'll be introducing a bill raising the federal smoking age to 21 — a huge boost for the effort.

The big picture: The FDA said in February that Walgreens was the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, in terms of selling illegally to minors. In contrast, CVS Health stopped selling all tobacco products in 2014.

Go deeper: The growing push to raise the smoking age to 21

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The new labor movement

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The coronavirus pandemic has had a big impact on working people, who are increasingly banding together to put pressure on employers and raise public awareness about health and safety issues they're facing on the job.

Why it matters: After years of declining union membership, a new labor movement is rising, amplified by the power of social media and fueled by concerns that workers deemed essential during the crisis are putting their lives at risk to ensure the well-being of others.

Medicaid will be a coronavirus lifeline

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Medicaid will be a lifeline for droves of Americans affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: Medicaid has long been the safety net that catches people during hard times, but a crisis of this magnitude will call upon the program — and strain states' budgets — like never before.

Go deeperArrow20 mins ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: Rich sheltered, poor shafted amid virus

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey. Margin of error ±2.8 points for full sample. Margin for subgroups ranges from ±5 to ±9 points. Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The coronavirus is spreading a dangerous strain of inequality.

  • Better-off Americans are still getting paid and are free to work from home, while the poor are either forced to risk going out to work or lose their jobs.

Driving the news: This sobering reality emerges from Week 3 of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Go deeperArrow35 mins ago - Health