Dear Winn Dixie,
I am disturbed by a recent experience I had in one of your Ocala locations. I was in the store to purchase some items for dinner which included a bottle of wine. Upon check out I was asked to furnish an ID. I was happy to do so and the cashier swiped it through the system. I was a little irked, however, that she did not do the same thing to the person ahead of me who was purchasing a carton of cigarettes. Although I believe the women was of age to purchase tobacco, I think this is a very dangerous practice.
Marion county currently has a rate of underage smokers that is higher than the state average (14.8 vs 10.1) Tobacco us is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and devastates families with its affects. We recently lost my grandfather due to causes related to years of tobacco use, and my grandmother is lost without him. I only tell you about my grandfather because I want you to see that products you sell directly impact your customers.
With all that has been said I am not asking for you to stop selling these products, it would be great but is very unrealistic. I am asking you to change you policy regarding tobacco sales and require an ID for every purchase. As one of the top grocers in our area I think a strict tobacco policy would help influence other retailers and possibly help prevent youth tobacco use.