According to the latest analysis on the Synar Amendment program – a federal and state partnership geared towards ceasing illicit tobacco sales to those under 18 – all the states and the District of Columbia have continued to reach their targets of limiting sales of tobacco to minors.

The analysis, conducted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – which sponsors the Synar program, demonstrates that the average nationwide retail store infringement rate of tobacco sales is down to 8.5%.

SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, explained:

“As the recent Surgeon General’s Report on Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults notes, smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable death. We must pursue every opportunity to prevent kids and young adults of today from becoming life-long adult smokers of tomorrow. The success of the Synar program is a testament to how preventing underage youth from gaining illegal access to tobacco products can have a tremendous impact.”

The Synar Amendment calls for states and U.S. jurisdictions to hold laws and enforcement systems for barring the sale and distribution of cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18. This system is part of SAMHSA strategic effort on protecting against substance abuse and mental illness.

According to the program, states and U.S. jurisdictions are required to report yearly to SAMHSA on their store infringement rates. These rates represent the percentage of inspected stores that sold tobacco products to minors.

In 6 years, not one state has been found to be out of compliance with the Synar regulation. According to the analysis, 12 out of 51 states reached a retailer violation rate under 5% and 34 states had a retailer violation rate of under 10%.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there have been substantial increases in total usage of cigars and loose tobacco products this past year offset the decline in total cigarette consumption . The CDC reportdiscovered thatwhile overall cigarette usage sustained an 11-year downhill pattern with a 2.5 % reduction from 2010 to 2011, total usage of other kinds of smoked tobacco products increased by more than 17% in 2011.

Written by Grace Rattue