I was patronizing a Dollar General on the hunt for laundry detergent today when I found myself behind an older woman in the queue paying for her goods.

What I heard next was quite humorous to say the least. I'm not trying to be ageist and all of the that, but this woman was clearly over 18. Like, by five plus decades older.

77 Year-Old Woman Denied Cigarettes At Western Mass. Retailer

The clerk behind the counter told the older woman that her license was expired after she asked to purchase four packs of Sonoma Gold.


Technically, if an ID is expired, it is not a valid form of identification in Massachusetts even though it was before its expiration date. This rule is weird. It clearly shows the woman was 77. (I asked her age in the parking lot).

Of course I know that you have to ask for identification in Massachusetts for anyone if they look under 27. That is still a thing, right? Or is it?

Dollar General Facebook
Dollar General Facebook

What The Feds Say

Generally speaking, these rules apply to all cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and "covered tobacco products":

  • Check photo ID of everyone under age 27 who attempts to purchase any tobacco product. Only sell tobacco products to customers 21 or older.
  • Do NOT sell tobacco products in a vending machine unless in an adult-only facility.
  • Do NOT give away free samples of tobacco products to consumers, including any of their components and parts. -fda.gov

What Massachusetts Says

It is illegal to sell tobacco products to any person under the age of 21. Retailers are required to check identification (ID) for any tobacco purchase. Only government-issued photo identification can be accepted as proof of age. -mass.gov

If the woman looked over 27, why ask for ID at all? Must they now?

Social Media Post

As of this writing, I just found this post on Facebook.

Went to dollar general last night to buy lighter's they asked me for my ID I said you want ID for lighters i have been coming her for 33 years and never been asked for ID they just lost my business.- Karen Watkins on Facebook

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