We Card Celebrates 25 Years

The nonprofit has been a retail partner in selling tobacco for a quarter century.

September 16, 2020

ARLINGTON, Va.—Over its 25-year history, We Card has become the go-to organization for training materials and age-verification tools for retailers. The nonprofit launched a nationwide effort to help retailers identify and prevent underage tobacco, e-cigarette and other age-restricted product sales. As a result, We Card has become synonymous with taking action to prevent underage sales. 

September is We Card’s Awareness Month to highlight the importance of responsible retailing, training employees, mystery shopping stores with We Card’s ID-Check-Up service and ordering next year’s 2021 in-store tools, signage and training materials, such as We Card calendars.

“Back in 1995, we needed a program to effectively train our members on how to abide by the tobacco compliance laws, and We Card’s program met that need,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president of government relations. By providing a comprehensive program to educate employees on how to responsibly sell—and consumers on how to purchase—retailers can successfully sell age-restricted products. 

“Government studies around the time of We Card’s founding showed a 40% violation rate, which meant four out of 10 underage buyers were successful in buying tobacco. We Card set out to correct that by educating the retailer and consumer,” said Doug Anderson, president of We Card. “The latest government study in 2018 found that only one out of 10 underage buyers were successful in buying tobacco—that’s evidence of the positive impact We Card has had.”

The bright red and yellow We Card logo can be seen in convenience stores, tobacco retail outlets, grocery stores, pharmacies, and any location that sells tobacco products. We Card consistently continues to innovate and adapt by adding more online training and working with the industry and retailers on creating solutions to prevent the various ways underage youth obtain tobacco and vaping products, including what is called the “social sourcing” of tobacco products.}

For more about We Card’s legacy, read “We Card A Trusted Resource” in the September 2020 issue of NACS Magazine.