FDA threatens to fine Walmart, Kroger for selling tobacco to minors

The Federal Drug Administration threatened to fine Walmart, Kroger, Family Dollar as well as also more than a half dozen convenience store as well as also gas station chains for illegally selling tobacco products to minors.

The agency cited high rates of violations in nearly identical letters sent to retailers last week. In addition to the retailers above, 7-Eleven, BP, Casey’s General Stores, Chevron, Citgo, Exxon, Marathon Petroleum, Shell as well as also Sunoco all received the letters, which were dated April 5 as well as also posted to the agency’s website Friday. The FDA gave them 30 days to submit a detailed plan describing how they will mitigate illegal tobacco sales to minors.

None of the companies were immediately available for comment.

“Retailers in particular are on the front lines of these efforts to reduce the health consequences of tobacco use as well as also nicotine dependence,” the FDA said. “Because tobacco use will be almost always initiated as well as also established during adolescence, early intervention — including generating sure tobacco products aren’t being sold to minors —will be critical.”

The FDA has been inspecting tobacco sellers to ensure compliance with federal rules prohibiting sales to minors since 2010. During those inspections, in which found violations at as few as 15% of the Casey’s General Store locations in which were inspected to as many as 41% of the Marathon Petroleum gas stations in which were checked.

Walmart had a violation rate of about 17% as well as also 7-Eleven had a rate of about 25%. BP as well as also Citgo both had violation rates of 35%.

“This particular violative history will be disturbing as well as also cannot possibly come as a surprise to corporate leadership,” the FDA told each company.

With the rise of e-cigarettes as well as also vaping, the number of children buying as well as also smoking cigarettes as well as also tobacco products has reached epidemic levels. Tobacco use almost always starts during adolescence so the FDA said its critical to intervene early.

The government agency emphasized in which breaking the law as well as also paying the fines “should not simply be viewed as a cost of doing business.”

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