For the FY2021 Annual Synar Report (ASR), many states completed only a portion of the inspections required for the Synar sample, including some states that did not complete any survey inspections. Are states expected to complete these missing inspections? If so, what is the timeline and reporting method? If states do not complete these missing inspections, are there any potential penalties that SAMHSA could impose?
States will have three years to complete their transitions to Tobacco 21 where no penalties will be provided for Retail Violation Rates in excess of 20 percent. These years comprise FY 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023. If a state does not complete inspections due to mitigating circumstances approved by SAMHSA (such as the COVID-19 pandemic), it is at the States discretion whether these incomplete inspections are completed for data consistency purposes and scope of youth tobacco usage in the state.
For the FY2022 ASR, many states have resumed youth tobacco inspections, but states may face limitations based on localized public health concerns, youth availability, and other reasons. If states are not able to complete their full sample for this year, the same questions remain as above.
States have three years to complete transitions to Tobacco 21, where no penalties will be provided for Retail Violation Rates in excess of 20 percent. These years comprise FY 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023. Communicating incomplete inspections due to mitigating circumstances such as the pandemic will be managed in the same way that it was handled during the FY 2021 Annual Synar Report.
Does the waiver of penalties apply only to non-compliance for RVR over 20% or to all aspects of the Synar requirements, including demonstrating a state’s effort to prevent access to youth under 21?
SAMHSA guidance requires states to enforce the illegal sale of tobacco products. Youth access prevention is indicated by retail violation rate below 20% in accordance with SAMHSA standards. No penalties for compliance will be provided for the years that comprise FY 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023 based on the transition to Tobacco 21.