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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Inspections, Compliance, Enforcement, and Criminal Investigations

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Smoke Land 11/7/13

  

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
November 7 2013
 
VIA UPS
 
Smoke Land 
Attn: Site Manager
5114 Point Fosdick Drive Northwest, Suite H
Gig Harbor, WA 98335
 
Re: FDA Warning Letter Regarding Tobacco Retailer Inspection Violation
       Reference Number: 13WA005527
 
Dear Sir or Madam:
 
This Warning Letter is notification from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advising you that Smoke Land 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 September 9, 2013, an inspector representing the FDA completed an inspection of the establishment, located at 5114 Point Fosdick Drive Northwest, Suite H, Gig Harbor, WA 98335. During this inspection the establishment was in violation because it has a self-service display of cigarette tobacco and 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 September 9, 2013, inspection includes the following: 

1.  The establishment has a self-service display or an “impersonal” mode of sale that provides a consumer direct access to cigarette tobacco and smokeless tobacco without restricting the facility to adults at all times. Specifically, the inspector observed an unlocked display case containing a variety of cigarette tobacco and smokeless tobacco in an area of the establishment that is open to customers.   

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.  During the inspection, the clerk on duty told the inspector that minors are permitted in the store. Therefore, the establishment is not restricted. The unlocked display case 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 cigarette tobacco and 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 13WA005527 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 Aaron Weisbuch at (301) 796-9362 or via email at Aaron.Weisbuch@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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