FDA Retail Inspections Now Being Conducted in 40 States

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

On October 5, the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products announced that it has recently awarded tobacco retail inspection contracts to the states of Idaho, Montana and South Carolina. This brings the number of states conducting retail compliance inspections on behalf of the FDA up to 40.

The states under contract with the FDA to conduct retail compliance inspections are as follows:

Alabama Illinois Minnesota Pennsylvania
Arizona Indiana Mississippi Rhode Island
Arkansas Iowa Missouri South Carolina
California Kansas Montana Tennessee
Colorado Kentucky New Hampshire Texas
Connecticut Louisiana New Jersey Utah
Delaware Maine New Mexico Virginia
Georgia Maryland North Carolina Washington
Hawaii Massachusetts Ohio West Virginia
Idaho Michigan Oklahoma Wisconsin


The FDA published the accompanying chart on the Center for Tobacco Products website which shows that during 2010, 2011 and 2012 the FDA awarded retail inspection contracts to various state agencies totaling $61 million.

As recently reported in the NATO News bulletin, the FDA conducts two kinds of retail inspections through these various state agencies.  One type of inspection involves the use of a minor under the supervision of a trained inspector who enters a retail store and attempts to purchase cigarettes, roll-your-own (RYO) cigarette tobacco or a smokeless tobacco product.

The second kind of inspection may not involve a minor and is conducted to determine whether a retail establishment is complying with all of the other FDA tobacco regulations such as no self-service displays of cigarettes, RYO tobacco or smokeless tobacco products, customers 27 and under purchasing tobacco products are asked for photo identification and no free gifts are given with the purchase of cigarettes, RYO tobacco or smokeless tobacco products.

To learn whether FDA inspectors have inspected your store(s), visit the FDA's inspection webpage by clicking on the link below and typing in your store name, address, and date range: