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FDA's Tobacco Retailer Compliance Check Inspection Program

Youth tobacco use, specifically e-cigarette use, continues to grow at an alarming rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that e-cigarette use among youth increased by more than 1.5 million users (38 percent) between 2017 and 2018. FDA's Retailer Compliance Check Inspection program plays a key role in its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan. Under the program, FDA contractors, generally States, carry out undercover buy inspections of tobacco retailers to ensure that they comply with restrictions on sales to minors. They also conduct advertising and labeling inspections to ensure that retailers comply with limitations on marketing of tobacco products. Since the program began in 2010, contractors have carried out over 1 million inspections. The first time FDA finds violations during a tobacco retailer inspection, FDA generally issues a warning letter. When followup inspections reveal subsequent violations, FDA may seek to impose civil monetary penalties and no-tobacco-sale orders that prevent retailers with repeated violations from selling tobacco products indefinitely or for a specified period of time. We will determine the extent and nature of inspections, violations, and enforcement actions by inspection type, on a State-by-State basis, and over time. We will also assess FDA's direction and oversight of the program, including how it targets inspection priorities and holds contractors responsible for their performance.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
May 2020 Food and Drug Administration FDA's Tobacco Retailer Compliance Check Inspection Program Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-01-20-00240 2022