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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Industry

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Are retailers subject to enforcement penalties?

Yes, retailers that violate the rule will be subject to enforcement penalties.

However, a retailer is not in violation of the rule with respect to cigarette packages as long as the package:

  • contains a health warning,
  • is supplied by a license- or permit-holding tobacco product manufacturer, importer, or distributor, and
  • is not altered by the retailer in a way that is material to the requirements of section 4(a) of FCLAA or the rule.

Similarly, a retailer will not be considered in violation of the rule for publically displayed advertisements as long as the advertisement:

  • contains a health warning,
  • is not created by or on behalf of the retailer (and the retailer is not otherwise responsible for including the required warning), and
  • is not altered by the retailer in a way that is material to the requirements of section 4(b) or 4(c) of FCLAA or the rule.

In cases where a cigarette package or advertisement violates the rule but the retailer is exempt, the manufacturer, importer, or distributor that provided the non-compliant package or advertisement would be liable for violating the rule.

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