FDA Conducts Webcast on Warning Letters and Internet Violations

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

On November 7, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) conducted a webcast with an update on warning letters and violations of the federal tobacco regulations by Internet sellers of tobacco products. During the webcast, the CTP staff reviewed the agency's role in enforcing tobacco regulations on Internet sellers.

The CTP conducts routine surveillance of the sale, distribution, marketing and advertising of regulated tobacco products on the Internet. In fact, the CTP has issued warning letters to Internet sites selling cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products.

The most common violations of Internet tobacco sellers include selling flavored cigarettes and offering cigarettes with prohibited descriptors such as "light," "mild" or "low."

Failure to comply with these regulations may result in the CTP initiating enforcement actions such as tobacco product recall, seizure, injunction, administrative detention, civil money penalties, no tobacco sale orders and/or prosecution.

A copy of the CTP webcast slide presentation titled “Overview of Warning Letters and Common Violations on the Internet” accompanies this article.