The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued its 10,000th tobacco retailer warning letter for noncompliance with tobacco rules.
To ensure compliance with the law, FDA works to prevent youth access to tobacco products and the influence of marketing by reviewing print and online advertising, monitoring promotional activities, and inspecting tobacco retail establishments. FDA takes action against retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and importers who do not comply with the law, such as by issuing warning letters for first-time violations.
Although most retailers are actively trying to keep tobacco away from kids, some continue to violate the law. In order to help reduce these violations, in 2009 CTP established a vigorous State Enforcement Program under which FDA awards contracts to states and territories to assist with inspections of tobacco retail establishments.
As of July 31, 2013, FDA has contracts with 45 states, territories, and the District of Columbia and has conducted more than 189,000 inspections of tobacco product retailers.
FDA also is working to help retailers comply with tobacco regulations by providing webinars and guidance documents to educate retailers and their employees about tobacco laws.
The FDA has also issued warning letters to three tobacco manufacturers and one tobacco retailer for promoting or selling illegal cigarette or RYO tobacco products labeled as “pipe tobacco.” These tobacco products were found to be subject to FDA regulation, and as such, the warning letters include violations for selling modified risk tobacco products without an order in effect and/or selling prohibited flavored cigarette tobacco products.
Retailers can click on the following link to see the results of inspections in their area: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/oce/inspections/oce_insp_searching.cfm