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Walgreens (WBA - Get Report) is taking the next step in preventing youth smoking by raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products at its stores to 21 beginning Sept. 1.

Rite Aid (RAD - Get Report)  quickly followed suit saying it would implement the change within 90 days.

"We've seen positive results from other recent efforts to strengthen our policies related to tobacco sales, and believe this next step can be even more impactful to reduce its use among teens and young adults," said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations. "Through ongoing training and certification for pharmacists and technicians, we also continue to help and support people looking to quit the use of tobacco in their lives."

This is the latest step in the company's crusade to combat underage smoking after implementing a store-wide policy to card everyone seeking to purchase tobacco products. 

Tobacco companies rebounded to close higher on a strong day for the markets after earlier trading down on the news.

Altria Group (MO - Get Report)  rose 0.38%. Philip Morris (PM - Get Report)  gained 0.74%, after shaving off some of its earlier gains. 

Shares of Walgreens fell 1.6%, while Rite Aid tumbled more than 7%.