Retailers Continue High FDA Compliance Rates

With more than 25,000 FDA compliance inspections conducted, 96% were passed successfully

Thomas A. Briant, NATO Executive Director

With 38 state agencies now conducting compliance inspections for the FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, retailers continue to achieve a very high rate of success in passing the compliance inspections. The FDA issued a report as of the end of September 2011, and indicated that with more than 25,000 retail store compliance inspections completed, 96% of retailers passed the compliance checks successfully.

Generally, the state agency inspectors are checking for the following during a compliance inspection:

1.         No self-service displays of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco or smokeless tobacco in a store that allows minors to be present.

2.         No sales of individual cigarettes or "loosies," as they are referred to by FDA staff.

3.         Store clerks must request and check photo identification of customers that are under 27 years old.

4.         Store clerks do not sell tobacco products to an underage minor accompanying the inspector.

Retailers should note that these state-commissioned inspectors generally do not announce themselves to store personnel, and most of the time store personnel will not be aware that the inspectors were even in the store.  Click here for the FDA Web page that lists the 38 states plus the District of Columbia currently under contract to perform FDA compliance inspections.