The fines for tobacco regulation violations have been increased for all fines issued after Aug. 1, 2016.
A new report from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO) has revealed that 55 retailers have received warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for selling tobacco products to a minor decoy. No fines were issued with these warnings, but the FDA has stated that the stores in question will be re-inspected to determine if further violations occur.
NATO has released a statement encouraging its member stores to remind their staff about complying with federal law, which prohibits the sale of tobacco products, including cigarettes, RYO, smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco, e-cigarettes/vapor products and hookah tobacco, to underage youth.
In addition to performing inspections on retail stores that sell tobacco products, the FDA has announced that it has increased the monetary fines that are charged to retailers who violate the federal tobacco regulations, NATO reported. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 allows federal agencies to adjust monetary fines for inflation once a year, and this increase was made in accordance with this legislation.
The adjusted fine amounts apply to retailers who were fined after Aug. 1, 2016.
According to the report from NATO, the adjustments to the fines are as follows:
- One Violation: The fine of $0 with a warning letter remained the same.
- Two Violations within a 12-Month Period: Increased from $250 to $275
- Three Violations within a 24-Month Period: Increased from $500 to $550
- Four Violations within a 24-Month Period: Increased from $2,000 to $2,200
- Five Violations within a 36-Month Period: Increased from $5,000 to $5,501
- Six Violations within a 48-Month Period: Increased from $10,000 to $11,002