• April 5, 2020

FDA Issues Sampling Guidance

Nothing new was really said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an updated guidance to its rules for sampling vapor products. It’s is the same as the rules were originally announced, although the language is more clear.

First, customers are prohibited from receiving free products from manufacturers or retailers, unless a transaction for a vapor product takes place. It’s perfectly legal to offer “buy one, get one free” promotions. It is illegal, however, to offer a free vapor product for the purchase of non-vapor (or tobacco) product.

Much needed clarity came in the legality of rewards programs, such as stamp promotions—where a consumer would receive a “stamp” for every vapor product purchase and then receives a free vapor product after the 10th stamp.


Business to business transactions of free product sampling are legal, this includes products received by the media for product reviews. While isn’t specifically mentioned in the new guidance, this was clarified to Vapor Voice last year by the FDA.

The FDA also acknowledged that contests and giveaways of vapor products were legal, so long as the purchase of a vapor product was required to enter. Numerous state and local governments require this type of contest to be a “no purchase necessary” promotion, meaning in those localities a contest that gives away a vapor product would be illegal.

The updated guidance can be found here: https://www.fda.gov/downloads/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/RulesRegulationsGuidance/UCM579648.pdf