The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division has won a three-year contract to help the F.D.A.’s effort to cut smoking among minors. I.A.B.D. spokesperson, Tonya Dusold, says the program will make sure retailers are complying with marketing and sales laws regarding tobacco.
She says the certified investigators will go out and do tobacco checks on retailers and then send that information for enforcement and penalties to the F.D.A. Dusold says it’s part of a nationwide effort to curb underage smoking.
“Iowa is one of I think 30 some states that have partnered in one way, shape or form to do these tobacco compliance checks,” Dusold says. She says some states have their health departments do the checks, while others have agencies like the I.A.B.D. that run the checks for them.
The F.D.A. checks will not be used to file state charges, as the state will continue its own separate program. “We partner with local law enforcement and do have a few tobacco investigators of our own here that do statewide checks, and have done so since about 2000,” according to Dusold.
The F.D.A. will do checks on some 215 retailers each month. Dusold says the checks will begin next week, and will be unannounced, just as the state checks for alcohol and tobacco are done. There are around 2,500 tobacco retailers in the state, and the F.D.A. goal is to complete checks at all of them in one year.