Tobacco Sales to Minors: States Achieve Goals, But Sales Increase Nationally
Although illegal tobacco sales to youth have decreased over the past 13 years, 2009 saw the first slight upward tick in sales to minors.
All states and the District of Columbia have continued to meet their goals of curtailing sales of tobacco to underage youth under 18. However, in Federal fiscal year 2009, for the first time ever, the data showed a slight increase in the average national rate of tobacco sales to underage youth of about 1 percent.
The Synar Amendment—introduced by the late U.S. Representative Mike Synar of Oklahoma—requires that states have laws and enforcement programs for prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco to people under age 18. The program is part of SAMHSA’s Strategic Initiatives on promoting emotional health and preventing substance abuse and mental illness.
Under the regulations implementing the Synar Amendment, states and other jurisdictions must report annually to SAMHSA on their retailer violation rates, which represent the percentage of inspected retail outlets that sold tobacco products to customers under the age of 18.
Download the 2009 Synar report.