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Compliance When There’s No Enforcement During COVID-19

05/2020

During these trying times of stay-at-home orders and social distancing the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has temporarily paused its compliance checks of brick-and-mortar retailers. 

States are beginning to reopen and store traffic – and underage purchase attempts of tobacco and vaping products may see a spike.  “The responsibility lies with retailers to remain vigilant, continue carding customers under 30 years old as the federal law requires and use your age-calculation tools by scanning IDs or using We Card’s Age of Purchase Calendar.  With or without enforcement, the responsible retailing task of identifying and preventing underage purchase attempts of age-restricted products remains as important as ever," said Doug Anderson, president of We Card.

Concerned with the health and safety of staff, the FDA issued orders to contracted agents at the state level for a partial stop work order in March. No timeline has been given for restarting federal compliance checks and vape shop inspections. The agency said in a press release dated April 27th it will continue to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 and communicate any changes when they occur. The FDA says it will under health and safety considerations continue with enforcement on a rolling basis.

As guidance from the FDA changes, We Card is committed updating retailers of age-restricted products during these unprecedented times. For questions about the We Card Retailer Pledge, age-calculation and training tools, signage or any of We Card’s initiatives and practices, visit www.wecard.org, or contact us comments@wecard.org.

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