This month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially launched “This Is Our Watch”, a program geared toward tobacco retailers to help tackle an issue both the FDA and retailers are concerned about–age verification.
Headed by the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP), “This Is Our Watch” offers retailers education, point-of-sales materials and training that will help comply with the agency’s age verification and compliance rules aimed at keeping tobacco products out of the hands of minors. The program was designed using feedback from retailers and though it’s not required, it could prove helpful to retailers as violating age verification rules can come with costly ramifications.
These materials are available to retailers at no charge. Some of the material available through this new program include an instructional booklet that includes training tips for employers to help their employees and an overview of the “This Is Our Watch” program, posters and point-of-sales signage to help communicate to customers about age-restricted products, stickers that can be placed near registers and around the store, easy-to-read flyers to distribute to employees covering age restriction rules at they apply to various tobacco products including cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah, and a calendar and app employees can use to easily calculate a customer’s age.