FDA Hires Inspectors
FDA Awards Tobacco Retail Inspection Contracts to States
September 5, 2011. Chris McCalla of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers (IPCPR) association has issued a warning to all member organizations.
He warns that the FDA has contracted with state health departments to perform inspections of retail shops.
The inspections are to ensure compliance with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009 (the Tobacco Control Act).
The inspectors will be looking for compliance with the provisions of the Tobacco Control Act by verifying that retailers are:
- checking identification of all individuals who are under age 27;
- only selling cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to individuals who are 18 or older;
- only selling cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in a direct, face-to-face exchange, except in adult-only facilities;
- ensuring that cigarette and smokeless tobacco packages are not broken open to sell products in smaller quantities;
- removing any promotional items in the retail environment that violate the regulations, such as self-service displays and certain advertising and labeling;
- ensuring cigarettes with certain characterizing flavors are not sold.
Although the current guidelines specify cigarettes and smokeless tobacco only, these guidelines would be expanded to include traditional premium cigar and pipe products under the FDA’s t proposed rule issued in June 2010.
At this time, agencies in 24 states have been awarded inspection contracts. A full list of states and the awarded agency are located at www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/ResourcesforYou/ucm228914.htm.
The contract awards include services for “inspections of retail establishments and other enforcement activities to help enforce the Youth Access and Advertising Regulations that took effect on June 22, 2010” although no specific enforcement activities beyond the inspections have yet been detailed.