The agency released new enforcement actions and a Youth Tobacco Prevention plan to stop minor use of, and access to, e-cigarettes
By NACS Online
In April, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited 40 retailers for violations related to youth sales of JUUL e-cigarettes. The agency also announced a new blitz of retail establishments targeting youth sale violations, part of new action the FDA is taking to examine the youth appeal of e-cigarettes. The agency also is taking steps to foreclose online sales of these products to minors.
These first steps in a new effort aimed at stopping youth use of e-cigarettes are part of the agency’s comprehensive plan announced in July. “The FDA has been conducting a large-scale, undercover nationwide blitz to crack down on the sale of e-cigarettes – specifically JUUL products – to minors at both brick-and-mortar and online retailers. The blitz, which started April 6 and will continue to the end of the month, has already revealed numerous violations of the law,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement.
“We’ll hold retailers accountable for continued violations. Let me be clear to retailers. This blitz, and resulting actions, should serve as notice that we will not tolerate the sale of any tobacco products to youth,” he said. “It’s clear there’s need for strong federal enforcement of these important youth access restrictions and we’ll continue to hold retailers accountable by vigorously enforcing the law with the help of our state partners. Today’s action should serve to put retailers on notice to stop selling products to minors.”
Gottlieb reinforced the agency’s commitment to stopping youth tobacco use. “Make no mistake. We see the possibility for ENDS products like e-cigarettes and other novel forms of nicotine-delivery to provide a potentially less harmful alternative for currently addicted individual adult smokers who still want to get access to satisfying levels of nicotine without many of the harmful effects that come with the combustion of tobacco. But we’ve got to step in to protect our kids.
“As the FDA considers regulating nicotine levels in cigarettes to render combustible cigarettes minimally or non-addictive, products such as e-cigarettes may offer a potentially lower risk alternative for individual adult smokers. These ENDS products will still need to be put through an appropriate series of regulatory gates by the FDA. But the viability of these products is severely undermined if those products entice youth to start using tobacco and nicotine.”
The We Card Program’s online training program includes attempted e-cigarette and vaping product purchase scenarios in its award-winning interactive training module – equipping sales associates with the practice at not only “carding” and examining IDs, but calculating customer ages based upon an ID’s date-of-birth using a variety of age calculation tools, including the We Card Calendar. We Card’s training covers FDA regulations and federal law as well as state-specific laws where minimum-age laws may be 18, 19 or 21 years old. NACS is a founding member of the We Card Program, and Lyle Beckwith of NACS serves as its Chairman of the Board of Directors.