CNBC reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sent letters to a number of retailers - among them Walmart, Kroger, Family Dollar, 7-Eleven, BP, Casey’s General Stores, Chevron, Citgo, Exxon, Marathon Petroleum, Shell and Sunoco - threatening them with fines for illegally selling tobacco products to minors.

According to the story, the letters were dated April 5 and gave the retailers 30 days to submit “detailed plans” for how they are going to rectify the situation.

“Retailers in particular are on the front lines of these efforts to reduce the health consequences of tobacco use and nicotine dependence,” the FDA said. “Because tobacco use is almost always initiated and established during adolescence, early intervention — including making sure tobacco products aren’t being sold to minors —is critical.”

In addition, FDA has suggested that “breaking the law and paying the fines ‘should not simply be viewed as a cost of doing business’.”

KC's View: It shouldn’t be. But it probably is. Shame on them.