An impressive 95% of tobacco retailers passed inspections conducted by a state of Mississippi agency to determine compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. As reported by the FDA in a press release issued January 7, 2011, "Using [Mississippi] state inspectors who have been commissioned by the agency, the FDA visited 493 different retail establishments in Mississippi over the past three months and issued 25 warnings."
This means that 468 retailers or 95% of the stores inspected--including 100% of NATO member retailers--complied with the FDA regulations. In response to this news, NATO President Andy Kerstein praised the efforts of NATO member stores and all of the Mississippi retailers, which he said "demonstrates the resolve of tobacco retailers to prevent the sale of tobacco products to underage youth."
Inspections of retail stores will also be conducted in 14 other states. Besides contracting with the state of Mississippi to conduct these compliance inspections, the following states are also under contract with the FDA and will be inspecting retail stores that sell tobacco products: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Washington.
While these inspections may begin at any time, only the Mississippi retail inspections have so far been reported on the FDA Web site. The FDA has a goal of contracting with every U.S. state that wants to assist the agency with tobacco enforcement activities and can demonstrate its ability to do so.