Tobacco Products

Retailer Regulations and Guidance

FDA helps retailers better understand their responsibilities for complying with the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) and its implementing regulations by issuing guidance and education materials.

Why is the Tobacco Control Act So Important?

The landmark Tobacco Control Act aims to make tobacco products less accessible and less attractive to our children and youth. Each day in the United States, nearly 2,300 youth try their first cigarette and nearly 400 become daily cigarette smokers.1 Many of these children will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks, and many will ultimately die of tobacco-related diseases. Tobacco retailers play an important role in protecting children and adolescents from the harms of tobacco by complying with federal laws.


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Under the Tobacco Control Act, FDA has broad authority to regulate the sale and marketing of tobacco products to improve public health, and protect children and adolescents from the harms of tobacco use. Retailers can play an important role by complying with federal regulations on the sale, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products. Read a summary of the federal rules for tobacco retailers.


To help retailers understand the regulations and different aspects of the law as well as their responsibilities for complying with the Tobacco Control Act, FDA issues guidance documents, which describe the Agency’s current thinking on regulatory issues. These documents are not legally binding on the public or FDA.

1.  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, SAMHSA, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality; 2017. Accessed October 12, 2017.


Page Last Updated: 08/28/2018
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