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    Mo. Retailers Brush Up On Tobacco Training

    State association teaming up with the "We Card" program to offer free seminars.

    KIRKSVILLE, Mo. -- Retailer groups enlisted the "We Card" program to conduct training to help their members from selling tobacco products to minors. A training seminar held here Wednesday was the first of 13 to be held for free across the state.

    "As you know, there's many different avenues minors can obtain tobacco," "We Card" training director Linda McKenna told some 70 retail representatives yesterday, as reported by Missouri World Now News. "We want to help stop that a the transaction counter and retail outlets and that's educating retailers on how to prevent the sell of tobacco to minors."

    Ted Cravens, a manager for Ankeny, Iowa-based Casey's General Stores Inc., said the training, which featured simulated encounters with patrons, was similar to everyday life in a convenience store. "The scenarios are pretty interesting. They're like the actual scenario of what we go through in the store," he said.

    The "We Card" program was sponsored by the Missouri Retail Association and The Missouri Coalition for Responsible Tobacco Retailing. The "We Card" program exists to help retailers understand what the laws are within their specific state in regards to fines, which products are restricted, as well as acceptable forms of identification.

    In addition to sponsoring training seminars, the state Coalition for Responsible Tobacco Retailing has distributed more than 18,500 kids that feature a training video and an on-line access for employee Internet training.

    "There are a lot of difficult scenarios that cashiers face," McKenna said. "Not just someone under 18; you have scenarios that range from adults taking money from two kids from outside of the store, and comes in and wants three different kinds of smokes."

    Referring to the familiar "We Card" sign found in many c-store chains, McKenna said, "Most customers are not aware that retailers and store policy require cashiers to card anyone who appears under 27. Please, bring your I.D. It's a compliment if you get carded you have to be eighteen to buy so required to card of anyone under 27."

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