For Industry

How do the Youth Access and Advertising regulations affect retailers who sell only tobacco products?

The Youth Access and Advertising regulations apply equally to retailers that sell only tobacco products and those that sell tobacco products in addition to other things.

“Retailers” are persons who sell cigarettes or smokeless tobacco to individuals for personal consumption, or who operate a facility where vending machines or self-service displays are permitted under these regulations. This definition applies regardless of the number of products sold or the price at which they are sold.

For example, even if Store A generates most of its sales from selling food products, and cigarettes sales represents only a fraction of total sales, the store is a “retailer” subject to regulation under 21 C.F.R. Part 1140. The store will be a retailer regardless of whether it sells above cost, at cost, or below cost.

Retailers also include persons who own facilities where vending machines that sell tobacco products or self-service displays (or merchandisers) of tobacco products are located, even if they technically do not own the vending machines or self-service displays themselves.

Note that the definitions of distributor, manufacturer, and retailer are not mutually exclusive. In other words, you can be a manufacturer, distributor, and a retailer if you engage in actions that fall within each of the definitions. For example, if you make finished cigarettes and sell them to individuals, you are a manufacturer (because you made the cigarettes) and a retailer (because you sold them to individuals).

Relevant Resources:

Draft Guidance for Industry: Compliance with Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Cigarettes and Smokeless Tobacco to Protect Children and Adolescents

Retailer Factsheet: Protecting Kids - Tobacco Retailers and the FDA

Small Business Assistance

Page Last Updated: 05/22/2016
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