On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of tobacco from 18 to 21 years. The FDA was quick to enforce the regulation, prompts posting on its website that it is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product to anyone under 21 effective immediately.
What this means if you’re in the position of selling tobacco products:
- 1. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product to anyone under 21. This includes cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookah tobacco, pipe tobacco, and e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (including vaping products).
- 2. T21 applies to all retail establishments and persons with no exceptions.
- 3. It is recommended to check the photo ID of everyone under the age of 30 who attempts to purchase any tobacco product
- 4. To-date, the FDA has conducted more than 1 million compliance checks of tobacco retailers.
While the FDA recently updated its website stating that “…both the agency and some retailers will need to update current practices to implement this new law as FDA will need time to do outreach and education to retailers and update the agency’s programmatic work to reflect this change in law,” it is not clear how long of a transition period will be allowed. The FDA expects retailers to follow the law and take measures to ensure an individual purchasing a tobacco product is 21 or older.
We at Vēmos believe that every retailer should be in the clear and doesn’t need to spend their time worrying about whether or not they are complying within this grace period. That’s why we’re offering our mobile ID Scan app at just $35/month. It’s the fastest and easiest way to make sure you’re always following regulations so you don’t get caught in a compliance check.
Here’s how it works:
- 1. Download the Vēmos – ID Scan app on your mobile device. We recommend using the custom ID Scan stand to stabilize the camera and have a sturdy base next to your POS.
- 2. Scan the barcode on the back of the ID, and be immediately alerted if someone is underage. You’ll have visual cues along with audible beeps as indicators. You’ll also be alerted if the ID is expired or invalid.
- 3. Scan the next guest’s ID.
It’s that easy. You’ll be set up within minutes, will verify a customer’s age within seconds, and have a log of all your scans should you ever need to prove your compliance. Get started now.