The HHS has adjusted the civil money penalties for violations by tobacco retailers
By NACS Online
The cost of violations for tobacco retailers just jumped 10%. As a result of enactment of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 114-74), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a new regulation that adjusts, for inflation, the civil money penalty (CMP) amounts assessed against tobacco retailers who have violated the law.
The adjusted amounts apply to CMPs assessed after August 1, 2016, even if the associated violations occurred as far back as November 2, 2015. The single violation stays the same ($0 with a warning letter), but all other monetary penalties for violations rose significantly.
For two violations within a 12-month period, the amount went from $250 to $275. For three violations within a 24-month period, the amount rose from $500 to $550. For four violations within a 24-month period, the penalty jumped from $2,000 to $2,200. For five violations within a 36-month period, the penalty soared from $5,000 to $5,501.
While all the other fines got a healthy inflation bump, for six violations within a 48-month period, the CMP advanced only $2 from $11,000 to $11,002. While HHS is indicating that the previous maximum civil money penalty was $10,000, it was in fact $11,000; although it was previously adjusted for inflation up from $10,000 two years ago. The FDA has been using this $11,000 amount in their pursuit of Civil Money Penalty (CMP) over this time period.