FDA Issues Report on Retail Compliance Inspections

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

This month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a report that summarizes the agency’s retail compliance inspection program that is on-going in 41 states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories. According to the report, since the FDA began contracting with states over the past several years to conduct retail compliance inspections, more than 138,000 retail stores have successfully passed the inspections. In addition, the FDA has issued 7,700 warning letters to retailers that may have violated a FDA tobacco regulation and also levied fines on 520 retailers that have had two or more retail tobacco violations. This means that almost 95% of the retailers inspected have passed the inspections and complied with the federal tobacco regulations.

The 41 states, plus the District of Columbia, that are currently under contract with the FDA to conduct retail store inspections include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The FDA report indicates that from May 2012 through February 2013, the agency has awarded the sum of $28,784,910 to these forty-one states, the District of Columbia and several U.S. territories to conduct compliance inspections on retailers that sell tobacco products.

A map showing the states with current FDA compliance inspection contracts accompanies this article.