FDA Sends Strong Message to… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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FDA Sends Strong Message to Retailers that Tobacco Sales to Kids Will not be Tolerated

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
October 30, 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – The Food and Drug Administration today announced that it will ban eight retailers from selling tobacco products for a 30-day period after they repeatedly violated restrictions on the sale and distribution of tobacco products, including sales to minors. This is the first time the FDA has sought to stop retailers from selling tobacco products after issuing more than 35,700 warning letters and initiating more than 5,200 civil monetary penalty cases.

The FDA’s actions put retailers on notice that that there are serious consequences for selling tobacco products to kids. The message from the FDA is clear, strong and certain: If a retailer is repeatedly caught selling tobacco to kids, they will no longer be permitted to sell these deadly products. Tobacco sales to kids cannot be tolerated. The FDA can impose even stronger sanctions if the offending retailers continue to violate the law.

Tobacco products kill more than 480,000 Americans and cost the country about $170 billion in health care bills each year. About 90 percent of all adult smokers began by age 18, and 5.6 million kids alive today will die prematurely from smoking without strong action to prevent it, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. The FDA’s action is an important step in preventing kids from ever starting to use tobacco and starting down a path that often leads to serious diseases and premature death.