In July 2017, FDA released a free, voluntary smartphone application, “FDA Age Calculator,” on the Google Play and iTunes app stores to help retailers comply with age restriction laws. With the “FDA Age Calculator,” retailers can use their personal smartphones to help determine if the purchaser is at least 18 years of age (the federal minimum age to buy a tobacco product).FDA recently updated the app to allow retailers to adjust the age the app uses when calculating if the purchaser is old enough to purchase tobacco products. FDA recognizes that some jurisdictions have a more restrictive minimum age to purchase tobacco products, such as 19 or 21. Retailers in these areas can set a new cutoff age to reflect their jurisdiction’s minimum age requirement. This update allows the app to continue to be a beneficial tool in preventing youth from accessing tobacco products for all retailers, regardless of varying state and local age restrictions.
Additionally, FDA will make new age verification calendars available to retailers in jurisdictions that have a more restrictive minimum age to purchase tobacco products. The calendars were originally released as part of the retailer education program, “This is Our Watch,” in November 2017 and use the federal minimum age of 18. However, due to feedback from retailers and stakeholders, FDA plans to distribute new calendars this summer that set 19 and 21 as the minimum tobacco purchase age for those specific jurisdictions.
During compliance check inspections of tobacco retailers, FDA will continue to determine if retailers are complying with the federal minimum age of 18 years to purchase tobacco products.
As a reminder, this application does not transmit or share this information or save the information on the user’s device or a third party or government server.