03 Jun The “Deeming Rule”: What You Need to Know About Sampling
The Food and Drug Administration’s new “deeming rule” sets forth a series of dates, provisions, and new requirements for retailers and manufacturers. The rule has an entire section devoted to free samples, but the new provisions still raise many questions for retailers. As of August 8, 2016, FDA regulations will prohibit free samples of any newly deemed products. To address frequently expressed concerns, below are some specific provisions of the free sample ban:
- Free samples include the consumption or use of a tobacco product, even within an adult only establishment where everyone is age verified before entering.
- The handling, touching, or smelling of any newly deemed product is permitted, but not the smoking, or lighting of a product.
- Coupons may still be distributed, but no coupon can be redeemed for the full retail value of a product.
- Samples can still be distributed if charged for, with no specification on minimum price.
- The ban applies to all samples, whether advertised by the retailer or requested by a customer of age.
- Even if tobacco products are being offered at a retailer’s free tasting event and provided by the manufacturer, the restriction still applies.