Attn Retailers Selling Tobacco & Vaping Products!

Insight Retail Software has customers in all 50 States so please take a moment to read this article from NACS.


FDA Compliance Materials May Put Retailers at Risk

Although the FDA says the minimum age to sell tobacco and vaping products is 18, it may be different for certain states.
March 12, 2018

​ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Retailers in certain states and localities where the tobacco/e-vapor minimum-age state or local laws are 19 or 21 years old may be exposed to violations of state and FDA regulations if they use FDA’s free kit of “This is Our Watch” materials. These kits were first distributed in November 2017 and on an on-going basis.

NACS has confirmed with the FDA, and the We Card Program has confirmed with individual retailers, that the FDA sent its materials focused only on the 18-year minimum age, including a calendar to calculate carded customer’s ages, to retailers in states and localities where the minimum age is higher than 18 years old. Retailers in the seven states using the FDA’s 18-year materials will be exposed to making illegal sales to minors and the possibility of state and/or FDA fines and penalties.

Below are the seven states where retailers may be impacted:

  • 21 year minimum-age states: California, Hawaii, Oregon, New Jersey
  • 19 year minimum-age states: Alabama, Alaska, Utah

In addition, more than 230 counties or cities within 17 states have 19 or 21 year minimum-age requirements. See We Card’s listing of locales within states that have minimum-age laws higher than 18 years old.

We Card recommends state associations in affected states take immediate action, including:

  • Inform your retailer members and encourage them to examine what is used in their stores, whether it’s the new FDA 18-yearr materials or any other materials, and make sure they have what is appropriate for their stores located in states/locales where 19 or 21 year minimum-age laws apply.
  • Consider an email alert, website and social media alerts and all available communications outreach to your members.
  • Inform your retail members that We Card has the appropriate minimum-age specific versions (18, 19 or 21 year) of its We Card age calculation tools and signage, available at www.wecard.org.

Informed retailers will have immediately recognized the problem of using FDA’s 18-year materials if 19 or 21 is their state or locality’s minimum age requirement. Others may incorrectly think the federal government’s 18-year materials focus overrules their state/locality’s higher minimum-age requirement while some may inadvertently just deploy the FDA materials without checking.

It is incumbent upon the retail community to remain compliant with FDA regulations and state and local law minimum age requirements. With FDA conducting 160,000 compliance inspections annually, combined with additional state and local level enforcement, compliance and preventing illegal sales of age-restricted products remains a priority of retailers.

 

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