Continued Success for Program to Cut Tobacco Sales to Minors

(HealthDay News) – Since the implementation of the Synar Amendment in 1992, considerable progress has been made in reducing the percentage of retailers who sell tobacco products to minors, with all states and the District of Columbia complying with legislation in 2012, according to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Researchers from SAMHSA in Rockville, MD, conducted an annual, unannounced inspection of retail outlets to determine compliance with the Synar legislation, which aims to decrease youth access to tobacco.

According to the report, in federal fiscal year (FFY) 2012 Annual Synar Reports, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors reported by states and the District of Columbia was 9.1%. Although this is the second lowest retailer violation rate (RVR) recorded, it represents an increase from 8.5% in FFY 2011. Between 2011 and 2012, the number of states reporting RVRs <10% remained consistent at 34, while the number of states reporting RVRs <5% decreased from 12 to 9. For the seventh year in Synar history, no state was out of compliance with Synar requirements.

“Over its 16 year history the Synar program has made remarkable strides in lowering the levels of illegal tobacco sales to minors across the nation, but far more needs to be done to prevent kids and young adults from using tobacco which is still the nation’s leading cause of preventable death,” Frances Harding, director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, said in a statement.

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