This week, the FDA began soliciting proposals from private contractors to conduct retail tobacco inspections in Alaska, Florida, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota and Wyoming, the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) reported.
These are the nine states that have not entered into a contract with the FDA to conduct compliance checks on retailers. According to the solicitation request, these nine states have indicated an unwillingness to enter into a contract with the FDA to conduct inspections.
At present, the FDA has contracts with 41 state agencies to conduct compliance inspections on retailers that sell tobacco products, NATO reported. The FDA has entered into these contracts because the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009, which gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products, authorizes the agency where feasible to enter into contracts with states to carry out inspections on retailers to enforce the law.
Over the past three years, the FDA state inspectors have conducted more than 189,000 inspections on retail stores with almost 95% of retail stores successfully passing the inspections, NATO reported. During the compliance checks, inspectors are watching to see if retailers request identification of customers that appear to be 27 years old or younger, whether retailers sell cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco or a smokeless tobacco product to an underage individual, whether a store has any self-service displays of cigarettes, RYO tobacco or smokeless tobacco, and that no free gifts are offered with a purchase of these tobacco products.