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City of Cleveland Considers Flavored Tobacco Ban

(December 3, 2015) The city of Cleveland, held testimony and comments from business owners yesterday on the impact a proposed flavored tobacco ban would have on businesses. The ordinance would prohibit most retailers within the city from selling flavored tobacco at their respective businesses (retail tobacco stores are excluded from the ban). OGA submitted written comments to the City Council, primarily outlining our members steadfast commitment to keeping these products away from minors and the economic impact a ban could have on Cleveland retailers. We expect action on this ordinance could occur as soon as next week. OGA will continue to keep membership, especially those within Cleveland, updated on this matter.

FDA Orders Stop Sale and Distribution for Certain R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Products

(September 17, 2015) Today, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that will stop the further sale and distribution of four R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company products – including its Camel Crush Bold brand, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter, Pall Mall Deep Set Recessed Filter Menthol and Vantage Tech 13 cigarettes due to the fact they did not meet requirements set forth in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). It is important to note that Camel Crush Bold is the only one of the four that is currently in the mass market, and subsequently in Ohio. FDA also specifically stated that they will not begin enforcing the order until 30 days after the order was issued, which means retailers cannot sell the impacted brands after October 15th. As we work with our wholesale partners, we await further guidance from the State on minimum pricing for cigarettes, since Ohio is a minimum price state and what to do with excess inventory, retailers should not assume they can simply return the product to wholesalers at this time. OGA will continue to report any new information as we receive it. In the meantime, we would encourage members to direct questions to your respective Reynolds representatives

Check ID for Those Under Age 27 for Tobacco Products

(December 4, 2014)  While the law still states that tobacco products can only be sold to those 18 or older, OGA would like to remind all of our members that they must train their employees to card those appearing under age 27 seeking to purchase cigarettes, cigarette tobacco or smokeless tobacco. This is an FDA requirement; please follow this link for more information.

We have received word that the FDA is aggressively increasing compliance checks in Ohio with carding of age 27 and under a major focus of these checks.

Please review the following information provided by We Card at and makes sure your store is ready for a potential FDA inspection.

Is Your Store Ready for FDA Inspections?

FDA will be conducting retail inspections in order to monitor compliance with federal regulations that restrict the sale and distribution of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.  Specifically, a new rule was finalized last year that is intended to protect kids by making tobacco products less accessible and attractive to them.  Additional information is available on FDA’s website, but the following are key items for compliance:

  • Check ID of everyone appearing under age 27 who attempts to purchase cigarettes or smokeless tobacco
  • Only sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to anyone age 18 or older
  • Only sell cigarettes and smokeless tobacco in a direct, face-to-face exchange (Vending machines are prohibited except in very limited situations)
  • Do NOT break open cigarette or smokeless tobacco packages to sell products in smaller amounts
  • Do NOT give away free samples of cigarettes or smokeless tobacco
  • Do NOT sell or give away items, such as hats or t-shirts, with tobacco brands or logos
  • Do NOT sell flavored cigarettes, such as strawberry, grape, orange, clove, etc.

In addition, we recently asked you to spend a few minutes taking a “We Card” survey to determine your readiness for an FDA Inspection.  How did you do? The We Card Program has some great training available online at extremely affordable prices!  Don’t be caught unprepared for an FDA inspection – check out this great training today.

Please read the article below about FDA Tobacco Enforcement: