The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a website to help retailers comply with the new federal minimum age to purchase tobacco products. Tobacco retailers should use this website as a resource for compliance materials as they are made available.
President Trump signed legislation in December 2019 that raised the federal minimum age for sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 (T21). Although the law requires FDA to issue regulations implementing the new age requirements, the Agency announced T21 is effective immediately.
NATSO joined other national associations representing tobacco retailers in December to request FDA release guidance on how the Agency will enforce T21 as retailers transition their signage and point-of-sale systems to comply with the new law. In response, FDA released a statement in January indicating there would be a “transition period” during which the Agency would only use individuals under the age of 18 in their compliance checks of tobacco retailers.
On its T21 website, FDA explains that “a reasonable transition period has concluded.” To that end, FDA has starting using individuals under the age of 21 in compliance inspection program. NATSO urges travel centers that sell tobacco products to comply with T21 as quickly as possible.
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