Retailer Training and Enforcement
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.
Note: The agency has become aware of training offered to retailers for a fee and identified as being a mandatory requirement from FDA. To be clear, retailer training is not a requirement under the new Tobacco 21 (T21) legislation. FDA is not sponsoring or offering mandatory training for retailers regarding T21. FDA does not charge a fee for its resources, materials or retailer training programs. To help retailers better understand their responsibilities and to comply with the law, FDA provides FREE webinars, training videos, and guidance documents. These FREE resources help to educate retailers and their employees about the Tobacco Control Act and tobacco regulations.
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.
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.