The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Tobacco Products released a proposed guidance document describing the agency’s recommendations on how retailers, manufacturers and distributors can comply with new federal tobacco regulation that prohibits distributing or giving away free samples of tobacco products. The FDA is currently seeking comments from the public about the proposed guidance with a deadline of February 17, 2017, to ensure the agency takes the comments into consideration before it begins to work on the final version of the guidance. You can submit your comments by clicking here.
The recommendations outlined in the proposed guidance documents are not legally binding but instead represents the FDA’s current thinking on the topic of the free sample ban.
Background on Free Samples
The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act prohibits the distribution of free samples of all tobacco products regulated by the FDA, including cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco, cigars, pipe tobacco, e-cigarettes, e-liquids, vapor products, hookah tobacco, nicotine dissolvable products, nicotine gel products, and components and parts of tobacco products such as e-cigarettes and vapor apparatus. The law exempts the the distribution of certain small quantities of smokeless tobacco in a “qualified adult-only facility” that meets a number of specific requirements.