More than 80% of established adult smokers begin smoking before age 18, the federal minimum legal age to purchase these products. That's why everyone-from retailers to health professionals to parents-plays a role in keeping tobacco out of the hands of youth.
FDA's tobacco compliance and enforcement program ensures that industry and retailers follow existing laws designed to reduce the health burden of tobacco use on the American public and protect America's youth. One part of the program involves inspecting tobacco retailers to make sure they are not selling regulated tobacco products to anyone under the age of 18, and that they are checking IDs to verify the age of customers under the age of 27. The sale of tobacco products to minors is the most commonly observed violation during inspections of retail stores.
FDA produced this new training video and a webinar promoting the video to assist industry and retailers.
Retailers can follow FDA’s age and ID rules by following these steps:
1. Request photo ID from customers under the age of 27,
2. Verify the customer’s age using the photo ID,
3. Verify that the appearance of the customer matches the physical description and photo on the ID, and