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  1. Retail Sales of Tobacco Products

This is Our Watch

This is Our Watch


To give retailers all the tools they need to comply with tobacco regulations, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products has developed an education program called “This is Our Watch.” This program helps tobacco retailers better understand FDA tobacco regulations, the importance of compliance, and the greater purpose—protecting the nation’s youth from the harms of tobacco use. Retailers are encouraged, but not required, to display This Is Our Watch materials in stores. Participation is voluntary.

“This is Our Watch” launched nationally in November 2017. A full toolkit of resources is available to retailers—including posters, stickers, age verification tools, and more—to help retailers better comply with federal tobacco regulations. 

Note: On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation to amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and raise the federal minimum age of sale of tobacco products from 18 to 21 years. It is now illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product – including cigarettes, cigars and e-cigarettes – to anyone under 21.

Free Program Materials

“This is Our Watch” program materials include a mix of educational pieces for owners, managers, and clerks, as well as a variety of point-of-purchase tools to inform customers of the law and emphasize the retailer’s role. For program materials, including register stickers and regulation flyers, visit FDA’s Tobacco Education Resource Library.

FDA’s Digital Age Verification Calendar

FDA Age Calculator

Download the “FDA Age Calculator,” a voluntary smartphone application to help retailers comply with federal, state, and local age restrictions for selling tobacco products. 

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FDA’s free digital age verification calendar helps retailers quickly determine if a customer is old enough to legally purchase tobacco products. The calendar can be programmed to display the exact date a customer must have been born on or before to legally buy tobacco products. Under federal law, the minimum age of tobacco purchase is 21.

Retailers who do not have a This is Our Watch digital age verification calendar may order one from the FDA Tobacco Education Resource Library. To program the age verification calendar to determine whether a customer is 21 years of age or older, view the instruction booklet.

Resources for Retailers

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