FDA Introduces ‘This is Our Watch’ Retailer Education Program

Program aims to help retailers reduce tobacco sales to minors.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products is launching a national retailer education program designed to prevent and reduce tobacco sales to minors.

FDA noted that tobacco retailers play a direct and critical role in reducing the overall health burden of tobacco products and in protecting youth from tobacco use and addiction.

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The new retailer education program is called “This is Our Watch,” and it includes a free set of resources designed to support retailers’ efforts to educate staff on enforcing federal laws and regulations. The materials, which were designed using feedback from store owners and employees, include posters, register signage, regulation fact sheets, age verification calendar and instructions for use. Free materials are being mailed to retailers and are also being available online this month.

“This is Our Watch” is designed to complement the FDA’s comprehensive tobacco compliance and enforcement efforts, which aim to protect public health by upholding federal tobacco laws.

As of Oct. 1, 2017, the FDA has conducted more than 842,000 inspections of tobacco product retail establishments, issued more than 64,000 warning letters to retailers for violating the law, initiated more than 15,400 civil money penalty cases, and has issued more than 85 No-Tobacco-Sale Order Complaints.

Additional information is available at www.fda.gov/thisisourwatch.