Study Shows Progress in Reducing Tobacco Sales to Minors

pack of cigarettes

A report reveals that in 2012 the average rate of tobacco sales to minors in the USA was 9.1% while it was expected 20%. The state and federal efforts to abolish tobacco sales to children are working despite a small rise in those sales between 2011 and 2012.

According to a report performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and presented this week, in the USA all 51 states put their efforts to significantly reduce illegal tobacco sales to people who are younger than 18.

SAMHSA introduces the Synar Amendment with main goal to reduce access of young people to tobacco. The  Amendment includes the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act passed in 1992. The Synar Regulation was released in 1996. It demands US states to impose laws which do prohibit sale and distribution of tobacco products to people younger than 18. States must perform unannounced inspections of retail tobacco stores and report their findings.

Synar Amendment damanded every state to decrease its retailer violation level to 20% or less by 2003.  Reort says in federal fiscal year 2012, the average percentage of tobacco sales to minors in the USA was 9.1%. In program’s history it was the second lowest retailer violation rate. However, in 2011 it was 8.5%.

Susan Marsiglia Gray,  the coordinator of National Synar program said that the Synar program exists 16 years and during this time states made a great progress in reducing tobacco sales to teenagers and kids, However,  the slight increase was provoked by budget challenges at the state level and the spread of smokeless tobacco products.

Danny McGoldrick, vice president for research at the not-for-profit Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids based in Washington, D.C. Considers that it is possible to do better than 20%.

The director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Frances Harding, says that the program achieved great results, but still more needs to be done in order to prevent children and teens from consuming tobacco products. Data shows that around 90 percent of regular smokers bagan to smoke by the age of 18.

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