On Oct. 29, 2015, the FDA filed complaints initiating the first NTSO actions for a group of retailers who had repeatedly violated certain restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including sales to minors. Eight retailers received an NTSO for 30 days.

“Retailers are the first line of defense in preventing the illegal sale of harmful and addictive products like cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to youth,” said Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s CTP (and pictured here), at the time of the complaints. “These enforcement actions will send a powerful message to all retailers that there are real consequences for repeatedly violating the law.”

As of January 2018, the FDA and ALJ had imposed 96 NTSOs against tobacco retailers. Overall, the industry has shown a strong track record of compliance.

“I’m happy to report the majority of retailers out there are complying with the law,” Simoneau of the CTP said late last year. “Those who do get a warning, the majority do have a positive inspection in the follow-up.”