FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products Seeks $279 Fine in Complaint

Now, I usually don’t try to second guess the FDA, and I certainly do not know much about the Center for Tobacco Products.  In addition, I do not condone underage smoking, nor do I condone smoking at all and consider it one of the most significant threats to public health.

The complaint (here) seeks a fine of $279 for two violations of selling tobacco to a minor under the age of 18.  Now, while I recognize that enforcement is often necessary for compliance, but really- $279.  My guess is that the compliant and action must have cost the government well over $10,000 in staff compliance and legal representation.  Am I missing something?  This kind of shocked me, but it certainly is not likely to be a big deterrent to the store that sold the products illegally.  But what do I know, maybe the poor clerk that sold the cigars to a minor got fired and there was a new hire that has been trained extensively on checking IDs prior to any tobacco product.  Maybe?  But I doubt it.

I know that people might say enforcement needs to begin somewhere but, with the tobacco problem far more problematic than two cigars, you would think the FDA would be placing its enforcement money where it can get the most bang for its buck.  If I am wrong, please tell me; I don’t want to be the ignorant one here.