FDA Enhances Online Database for Tobacco and Vape Retailers

fda tobacco vape database

The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) has recently upgraded its website to provide better access to information about tobacco compliance checks. This enhanced centralized database is designed to be a comprehensive resource for the general public, public health organizations, and the tobacco industry, according to a statement from the agency.

Key Features of the Enhanced Database

The revamped database offers several new search parameters, making it easier to find information related to compliance and enforcement outcomes. These include warning letters, civil money penalties, and no-tobacco-sale orders for both physical and online retailers. Previously, this information was scattered across various sections of the FDA website, but the upgrade consolidates it into one accessible location.

The database will be updated monthly to ensure it reflects the latest compliance check outcomes. This move aims to optimize transparency and communication with stakeholders, according to the CTP.

To view the database, click here.

FDA’s Recent Efforts

In recent years, the FDA has faced criticism from operators for the lack of clear regulation guidelines and straightforward compliance practices for vape products. In response, the agency has launched several initiatives to address these concerns.

Launch of the Searchable Tobacco Products Database

In March of this year, the FDA introduced the Searchable Tobacco Products Database. This tool allows retailers to search for:

  • New tobacco products that have received marketing authorization.
  • Pre-existing tobacco products established through a voluntary determination program.
  • Provisional tobacco products that have been removed from review.

The database was created to “serve the public — especially retailers — by providing key information in a single location with easy-to-use search capabilities,” according to the FDA. At launch, the database contained nearly 17,000 tobacco products, with over 12,000 being pre-existing items. Each entry includes detailed information about the product, such as the product name, company, category, sub-category, the authority permitting its sale in the U.S., and the date of FDA action.

Addressing Industry Concerns

David Spross, executive director for the National Association of Tobacco Outlets (NATO), highlighted the industry’s challenges before the database’s launch. He pointed out the difficulty in identifying products covered by timely-filed, still-pending Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (PMTAs). Many applications have been under review for over three years, creating a lack of clarity for retailers.

The enhanced database is a step towards resolving these issues, providing retailers with the necessary information to stay compliant with the evolving tobacco and vape regulations.oid penalties and build a trustworthy brand. Here are some practical strategies:

Benefits of the Enhanced Database

The enhanced database not only provides a centralized location for compliance information but also includes links to regulatory and scientific documents, such as the Order Letter, Decision Summary, and Environmental Assessment (EA). These resources help retailers understand the regulatory background of each product and ensure compliance with FDA regulations.


The FDA’s enhancement of its online database for tobacco and vape retailers marks a significant step towards better transparency and accessibility of compliance information. By consolidating compliance outcomes and updating the database monthly, the FDA aims to provide a more efficient and user-friendly resource for the public, public health groups, and the tobacco industry. This initiative reflects the FDA’s ongoing efforts to address industry concerns and ensure that retailers are well-informed and compliant with the latest regulations.

Matthew Ma