SAMHSA oversees implementation of the Synar Amendment, which requires States to have laws in place prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to persons under 18 and to enforce those laws effectively. Across the Nation, states have made great strides in reducing retailer violations of the law as required by the Synar Amendment.
FY 2012 Annual Synar Reports: Youth Tobacco Sales [PDF | 650 KB]
In FY 2012, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors for the 50 States and the District of Columbia was 9.1 percent. While this rate is the second lowest retailer violation rate (RVR) in the history of the Synar program, it represents an increase in the RVR from FFY 2011, when the national rate was 8.5 percent. Despite the increase in the national average rate of tobacco sales to youth, the number of states reporting RVRs below 10 percent (34 states) remained consistent between FFYs 2011 and 2012. However, the number of states reporting RVRs below 5 percent decreased from 12 in FFY 2011 to 9 in FFY 2012.
FY 2011 Annual Synar Reports: Youth Tobacco Sales
In FY 2011, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors for the 50 States and the District of Columbia was 8.5 percent. This is the lowest rate in the 15 year history of the Synar program. Additionally, the number of States reporting low retailer violation rates (RVRs) has increased. In FY 2011, 34 States achieved an RVR below ten percent and 12 achieved an RVR below five percent.
A Strategic Partnership: The Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Tobacco Retail Compliance Inspection Contracts and SAMHSA's Synar Program [PDF | 200 KB]
The Synar amendment aimed at decreasing youth access to tobacco (section 1926 of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act, P.L. 102-321) became law in July 1992. The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act became law on June 22, 2009, granting FDA authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tobacco products to protect the public health generally and to reduce tobacco use by minors. Currently the law applies to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and cigarette tobacco. This document provides overviews of the SAMHSA Synar Program and FDA Tobacco Retail Compliance Inspection Contracts, and describes how the programs differ and work together to reach the shared goal of reducing youth access to and use of tobacco products.
FY 2010 Annual Synar Reports: Youth Tobacco Sales
In FY 2010, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors for the 50 States and the District of Columbia was 9.3 percent. This is the lowest rate in the 14 year history of the Synar program.
FY 2009 Annual Synar Reports: Youth Tobacco Sales
In FY 2009, for the fourth year in a row, all States and the District of Columbia were in compliance with the Synar requirements. However, for the first time in the history of the Synar program, the national weighted average rate of tobacco sales to minors increased, from 9.9 percent in FY 2008, to 10.9 percent in FY 2009. The increase in the rate may be due to States reducing the number of enforcement inspections they conduct in the face of State budget cuts.
Synar Program Fact Sheet
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Synar Amendment and its implementing regulation, including requirements of the regulation, penalties for non-compliance, evaluation results and recent accomplishments.
State Synar Rate Tables [PDF | 363 KB]
These State data contain reported and targeted non-compliance rates.