Note: On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21. FDA will provide additional details on this issue as they become available, and the information on this page will be updated accordingly in a timely manner.
Retailers play a critical role in protecting public health and creating powerful change leading to a healthier future for all families.
To help retailers better understand their responsibilities under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (Tobacco Control Act) and comply with the law, FDA provides webinars, training videos, and guidance documents. These resources help to educate retailers and their employees about the Tobacco Control Act and tobacco regulations. FDA also works with state regulators to enforce federal regulations to reduce the harm of tobacco.
FDA creates several online tools to assist industry and retailers in understanding the Tobacco Control Act, tobacco regulations, and how to comply.
Tobacco Compliance Webinars provide FDA Tobacco compliance education and information to retailers and small businesses.
Protect Our Future: Prevent Tobacco Sales to Minors
A compliance training video for tobacco retailers in American Indian and Alaska Native communities regarding FDA's age and ID requirements when selling regulated tobacco products.
Guidance on Retailer Training Programs for Employees
The FDA has issued a guidance document related to retail training programs:
- The Tobacco Retailer Training Programs guidance assists tobacco retailers in developing effective training programs for employees.
Compliance Check Inspections of Retailers
- Compliance check inspections of tobacco product retailers are conducted to determine a retailer's compliance with FDA regulations.
- Our searchable database shares results of compliance check inspections. FDA generally issues warning letters to retailers the first time a tobacco compliance check inspection reveals a violation of federal tobacco laws and regulations that FDA enforces. FDA may seek Civil Money Penalties or No-Tobacco-Sale orders for repeat violations.
- The Tobacco Retailer Warning Letters Overview provides a brief description of what retailers should do if they receive a Warning Letter.
Guidance on Civil Money Penalties (CMP) and No-Tobacco-Sale Orders (NTSO)
FDA has issued two companion guidance documents related to CMPs and NTSOs.
- The Civil Money Penalties and No-Tobacco-Sale Orders guidance provides information on the penalties for violations for retailers with training programs that meet FDA standards and those without.
- The Civil Money Penalties for Tobacco Retailers: Responses to Frequently Asked Questions provides information such as what a CMP and NTSO are, why one may be issued, and what a retailer should do upon being served a CMP or NTSO complaint
FDA has also issued an additional guidance document related specifically to NTSOs.
- The Determination of the Period Covered by a No-Tobacco-Sale Order and Compliance With an Order guidance describes the factors that determine the length of an order and the options available to a retailer who receives an NTSO. It also describes what steps a retailer can take to ensure compliance with an NTSO and how FDA will monitor compliance with an NTSO.