Yesterday morning, I paid a visit to our local RiteAid. When I came to check out, I got to the counter at the same time as another gentleman. He was only there to get a pack of cigarettes, so I told him to go first. He was asked for ID, which it turned out he didn’t happen to have. The cashier, a very nice woman whom I know from church, told him she couldn’t sell him cigarettes without ID.
Now he was obviously younger than I. Most people are. But he was also obviously well past 18. I offered to buy the cigarettes for him, but the only ID I have is my long out-of-date driver’s license, which didn’t pass muster either. Finally, another customer with acceptable ID bought him a pack and he paid the fellow for them and went his way.
This is apparently a RiteAid policy, not something the state insists on. I suppose a store does have the right to set the rules regarding what it sells. But this seems bad business to me. Some mention was made that RiteAid wants to get data on cigarette sales. Are they going to stop selling them if they discover that not enough people are buying them? But they must already know the cigarette sales numbers.
This RiteAid policy, by the way, seems as much of an annoyance for the cashier as it is for the customers. They really should rethink it. Sooner or later a lawyer’s going to ask to buy a pack of cigarettes, only to discover he lacks proper ID.
(I remember the last time I was carded after ordering a drink. I was over 30 at the time. I thanked the waitress. I was flattered she thought I was so young.)