FDA Takes New Actions to Combat Youth Access to E-cigarettes

Statement from FDA Commissioner on forceful new actions focused on retailers, manufacturers as part of FDA’s Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan

Washington, D.C. | March 4, 2019

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., released a statement announcing several new actions, focused on both retailers and manufacturers, as part of FDA’s commitment to combat youth access to e-cigarettes.

First, FDA sent a letter to the corporate management of Walgreen Co., requesting a meeting to discuss where there is a corporate-wide issue related to its stores’ repeat violations of selling tobacco products to kids. The company is currently the top violator among pharmacies that sell tobacco products, with 22 percent of more than 6,350 inspected stores cited for illegally sold tobacco products to minors.

Photo courtesy of truthinitiative.org

FDA identified 14 other national retail chains as well, whose rates of violative inspections exceed 15 percent of their total inspected stores since the inception of the FDA’s retailer compliance check inspection program in 2010. FDA plans to ask these companies to share what policies they have in place and what more they can commit to do to prevent youth tobacco sales.

Violation Rates Between 35-44 Percent of All Inspected Stores

  • Marathon
  • Exxon
  • Sunoco
  • BP
  • Citgo
  • Mobil

Violation Rates Between 25-34 Percent of All Inspected Stores

  • Shell
  • Chevron
  • Casey’s General Stores
  • 7-Eleven

Violation Rates Between 15-24 Percent of All Inspected Stores

  • Family Dollar
  • Kroger
  • Walgreens
  • Circle K
  • Wal-Mart

Furthermore, FDA sent letters to more than 40 companies seeking information about whether more than 50 products – including a variety of flavored e-cigarette products – are being illegally marketed and outside the agency’s current compliance policy.

The agency also today sent the first warning letters to several companies for, among other things, selling electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) products and a waterpipe tobacco product with labeling and/or advertising that failed to include the required nicotine warning statement. 

To learn more about FDA’s new actions to keep e-cigarettes and other tobacco products out of the hands of kids, read the Commissioner’s full statement.

Read the Full Statement

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