FDA Issues New Round of Warning Letters on Tobacco Sales to Minors

Asks c-store, gasoline, other retailers to submit written plan to address youth access to e-cigs, other products
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WASHINGTON — In the latest salvo targeting convenience stores and gas stations for allegedly selling vaping products to minors, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a dozen letters to retailers in the convenience, dollar, grocery, gasoline and big-box retailing channels noting a high percentage of alleged violations regarding sales to minors and asking for a written plan within 30 days on how the retailers will work to end such activity.

The chains sent letters dated April 5 include 7-Eleven, BPCasey’s General Stores, Chevron, CITGO, ExxonMobil, Family Dollar, Kroger, Marathon Petroleum, Shell, Sunoco and Walmart.

The letters said the agency was reaching out to retailers with what it claims are a “violation rate of 15% or greater since they began inspections in 2010,” noting that 7-Eleven had a rate of 25% and Marathon had a rate of 41%.

The FDA originally announced a number of retailers having allegedly high violation rates in early March, but some of the chains named at that time were not targeted in this current round of letters.

In the most recent letters, Scott Gottlieb, outgoing FDA commissioner, said: “In addition to issuing a warning letter, civil money penalty or no-tobacco-sale order, as applicable, to violating retailers, FDA also makes retailer compliance check results publicly available in a searchable database that can be accessed by any member of the public, including by the corporate management of retailers themselves. These illegal sales must stop.”

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