-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, May 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and
Drug Administration wants your help in keeping children away from
Every day, more than 3,200 Americans under the age of 18 smoke
their first cigarette, and more than 700 become daily smokers,
according to the agency.
Complaints from members of the public about potential violations
of federal laws that forbid the sale of tobacco to anyone younger
than 18 can help reduce the number of young people who try
cigarettes or become smokers, the FDA said.
Of more than 18,000 tobacco law violations between 2009 and
Sept. 30, 2013, more than half were for selling tobacco products to
minors, and more than a third were for failure to ask for proper
photo ID to confirm the age of a person buying tobacco products,
according to the FDA Center for Tobacco Products.
There are several ways you can report a possible violation of
federal tobacco laws. You can call file a complaint online, call
1-877-287-1373, or download and mail a form to the FDA Center for
Potential violations include: sales of cigarettes or smokeless
tobacco to minors; sales of flavored cigarettes or flavored
cigarette tobacco (except menthol) to minors; providing free
samples of cigarettes to minors; sales of single cigarettes to
minors, and providing free samples of smokeless tobacco to minors,
unless in a "qualified adult-only facility."
You should provide as much information as possible when
reporting a possible violation. This includes the date, location,
product type, product brand and/or type of violation, the FDA
The length of time it takes to complete an investigation varies,
depending on a number of factors. Information about a case can't be
made public until the case is closed.
Businesses typically received a warning letter for first-time
violations, but repeat offenders can face fines, seizures,
injunctions or criminal prosecution, the FDA said.
The FDA tells you how to report potential
tobacco product law violations.
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