FDA Enforcement of Tobacco Regulations Summary And Compliance Guide For Truckstops and Travel Plazas

The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act contains a penalty structure under which penalties increase in severity for each successive violation a retailer commits (e.g., the penalty for a second violation is more severe than the penalty for a first violation).  This enables tobacco retailers to correct problems as they are discovered. 

Additionally, the legislation provides for less severe penalties when retailers have in place an adequate training program for employees.  These lower penalties include a Warning Letter for the first violation (rather than a fine) and lower fines for subsequent violations that would be levied if the retailer did not have an adequate training program in place.

The FDA has yet to institute any regulations regarding what types of training programs are considered “adequate” so as to trigger a less severe penalty. Until it does, the agency will be subjecting all retailers to the reduce penalty schedule as though they had an adequate training program in place.

The FDA has released a Guidance document on tobacco retailer training programs, which is available here.

NATSO has prepared this document outlining the various issues that these inspections will cover, as well as how retailers should respond if they are accused of violating the law.

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David Fialkov's photo

David Fialkov is the Vice President of Government Relations, as well as the Legislative and Regulatory Counsel, at NATSO. In this capacity, Mr. Fialkov direct's NATSO's legislative, regulatory, and legal strategy on a range of issues, including transportation, energy and fuels, labor, data security, and taxes. Mr. Fialkov also oversees NATSO's political engagement program, including individualized legal and political counsel to member companies. Prior to joining NATSO, Mr. Fialkov was the senior associate in the Government Affairs and Public Policy practice at the law firm of Steptoe and Johnson in Washington, D.C. At Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov advised clients on legislative, regulatory, and political issues, as well as legal concerns. His primary clients included trade associations representing the motor fuel wholesale and retail industries, including the National Association of Convenience Stores and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America. Mr. Fialkov's focus was not only on the motor fuels business, but also the litany of other issues that retailers confront, including labor matters, foodservice issues, healthcare and employment issues, tax matters and data security. Prior to joining Steptoe, Mr. Fialkov graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.S. Summa cum laude with highest honors from Clark University in Worcester, MA. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife Allison and daughter Lilah. More
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