UPDATE: CVS has announced that it will no longer require photo identification to be shown in order for customers to buy nail polish remover in most states.
"We are committed to ensuring customer convenience while appropriately complying with regulations in our business," CVS Public Relations Director Mike DeAngelis told CBS News in a statement.
The retailer will still require that customers show valid photo ID to buy acetone products in Hawaii, and iodine products in California, Hawaii and West Virginia, in compliance with state laws that require stores to keep sales records of products used in manufacturing of methamphetamine
PREVIOUSLY:Fixing a chipped manicure just got much harder for many teenage girls.
CVS stores across southern New England are now requiring customers to be at least 18 years old with valid identification in order to buy nail polish remover, Rhode Island news station WPRI 12 News reports. The measure seeks to curb the production of methamphetamine, or "meth," an illegal psychostimulant and psychoactive drug. CVS is also limiting the amount of nail polish remover that customers can buy.
In recent years, federal laws were enacted to require pharmacies to ask for ID when customers tried to buy cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacturing of meth. Nail polish remover contains acetone, which is also one of the ingredients that goes into making meth, yet there is no state or federal law that requires stores ask for ID when a customer is buying the item.
New England isn't the only area to be affected by CVS' new rule. A similar policy was instituted in early August at a store in Georgetown in Washington, D.C., NBC Washington reports.
The decision to require identification to purchase nail polish remover appears to be a proactive one on the part of CVS:
"Our policy limits the sale of these products in conjunction with other methamphetamine precursors and is based on various regulations requiring retailers to record sales of acetone," CVS Public Relations Director Mike DeAngelis told NBC Washington when the policy was enacted in Georgetown.
In 2010, CVS agreed to pay $77.6 million to settle a federal lawsuit after it acknowledged that it had sold pseudoephedrine to criminals who used it to make meth.
Despite CVS' newest efforts, at least one study has shown that similar policies in Oregon, which has the strictest laws when it comes to the sale of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, have had little effect on illegal manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Other pharmacies in the New England area have yet to follow suit. Boston-area Walgreens are not currently carding for nail polish remover, WBUR reports.