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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Tobacco Plus 9/20/12

  

Department of Health and Human Services logoDepartment of Health and Human Services

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration
 
Center for Tobacco Products
9200 Corporate Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850-3229 

 

WARNING LETTER
Sep 20, 2012
 
VIA UPS
 
Tobacco Plus
Attn: Site Manager
2025 West Sunshine Street, Suite 136
Springfield, MO 65807
 
Re: FDA Warning Letter Regarding Tobacco Retailer Inspection Violation
       Reference Number: 12MO001162
 
Dear Sir or Madam:
 
This Warning Letter is notification from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising you that Tobacco Plus was observed to be in violation of federal tobacco laws and regulations. Failure to correct these violations may lead to federal enforcement actions, including monetary penalties. Your response is requested in 15 working days.
 
On June 18, 2012, an inspector representing the FDA completed an inspection of the establishment, located at 2025 West Sunshine Street, Suite 136, Springfield, MO 65807. During this inspection the establishment was in violation because it has self-service displays of smokeless tobacco in a facility not restricted to adults at all times.
 
This inspection revealed that the establishment sells, distributes, advertises, and/or promotes cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco, which requires that the establishment and its owners comply with federal laws and regulations governing such practices. The violation observed during the June 18, 2012, inspection includes the following:
 
1. The establishment has self-service displays or “impersonal” modes of sale that provides a consumer direct access to smokeless tobacco without restricting the facility to adults at all times. Specifically, the retailer has a self-service display of Stocker’s smokeless tobacco located on top of the customer service counter, facing the customer. Another self-service display of Stoker’s smokeless tobacco is located on a portable rack at the end of the customer service counter. A third self-service display containing Red Man, Beech-Nut, Levi Garrett, and Trophy smokeless tobacco is located on a display shelf in front of the customer service counter in a public isle.
 
A retailer MUST sell cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco only in a direct, face-to-face exchange between the retailer and the consumer and cannot use a self-service display unless a retailer ensures that minors are neither present nor permitted to enter at any time. Failure to do so violates 21 C.F.R. § 1140.16(c).
 
The establishment fails to ensure that minors are neither present nor permitted to enter at any time as the establishment is open to the general public during business hours. Therefore, the establishment is not restricted. The signage which states “We Card, Under 18 No Tobacco” is insufficient to meet the requirements of the law. It is your responsibility to ensure that no person younger than 18 years of age is present or permitted to enter the establishment at any time, or to ensure that all cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, and/or smokeless tobacco products are only sold in a direct, face-to-face exchange.
 
The listed violation causes  your smokeless tobacco to be “misbranded” under 903 of the FD&C Act (21 U.S.C. § 387c). 
 
You should immediately correct the violation listed above. Failure to correct the violation may result in FDA taking regulatory action without further notice. These actions may include, but are not limited to, civil money penalty, no-tobacco-sale order, seizure, and/or injunction.
 
The violation indicated in this letter may not be a complete list of violations at the establishment. The establishment must comply with all the applicable laws and regulations. For more information on these requirements, helpful resources for retailers, a database of inspections, and free Break the Chain of Tobacco Addiction materials, visit our website at http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts.    
 
You have 15 working days from the date you receive this letter to respond. In your response, explain your plan for correcting the listed violation and preventing future violations. Include a telephone number and address. Note your reference number of 12MO001162 in your response and mail it to:
 
SP-WL Response
FDA Center for Tobacco Products
9200 Corporate Boulevard
c/o Document Control Center
Rockville, Maryland 20850
 
If you have any questions, contact Sashka Mannion at (301) 796-3010 or via email atSashka.Mannion@fda.hhs.gov. Have your reference number ready when you call and include it with any email communications. 
 
 
Sincerely,
/S/
Ann Simoneau, J.D.
Director
Office of Compliance and Enforcement
Center for Tobacco Products
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