Around half a dozen companies that sell tobacco products — including Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT), Kroger Co (NYSE: KR) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) — were on the receiving end of an FDA letter dated April 5, CNBC said in a Friday story.
The letter detailed high rates of illegal sales of tobacco to minors.
Why It's Important
Early intervention, including ensuring teens don't have easy access to buy tobacco, is "critical" to lower cases of teen smoking, CNBC quoted the FDA as saying. Retailers are on the "front lines of these efforts."
Each letter alleged a pattern of selling tobacco to minors that dates back several years and "cannot possibly come as a surprise to corporate leadership," the FDA said.
The FDA notices come at a time when the rise of e-cigarettes and vaping products has resulted in an "epidemic number" of minors buying and smoking cigarettes, CNBC said.
Companies are now required to respond to the FDA and take action to prevent illegal sales of tobacco or face a fine. The letters also warned the retailers that accepting and paying a fine should "not simply be viewed as a cost of doing business.
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