FDA Cracking Down on Retail Stores over Tobacco Sales

By Conlan, Michael F | Drug Topics, March 3, 1997 | Go to article overview

FDA Cracking Down on Retail Stores over Tobacco Sales


Conlan, Michael F, Drug Topics


Failure to "card" (check I.D. of) cigarette buyers may bring closer scrutiny to the estimated 31,000 retail pharmacies that stock tobacco products. But selling to persons under age 18 is the real concern-a $250 fine for a second offense, with a maximum of $15,000 for repeat offenders, is possible under Food & Drug Administration regulations that were scheduled to take effect on Feb. 28.

The regulations call for retailers to request a photo-identification card from persons under age 27. But the FDA has assured the National Association of Chain Drug Stores that it is not as interested in checking the age of youthful-looking, legitimate buyers as it is in stopping sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to minors. John M. Shepherd, NACDS v.p. for food sales, told Drug Topics that the FDA has given assurances that it does not expect to do any enforcement strictly on carding.

"What will happen if there is improper carding is that they will send a letter that they are going to do an enforcement check," Shepherd explained. "The enforcement check will not be to see if they [store personnel] are carding. It will be to see if they are selling to kids, and if they are-bingo. …

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