There was a growing evidence about health problems related to tobacco use by youth, In July 1992, Congress enacted the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act. This amendment, named for its sponsor, Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma, requires states to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18. This now ranges from 18-21 depending on what State. States must comply with the Synar Amendment in order to receive their full Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) awards.
Each state has to have 20% or less of sales to minors each year. If this is not accomplished, we are in jeopardy of losing a portion of our SAMSHA Block Grant
NH has successfully remained in compliance of this 20% however continue to have one of highest percentage of sales in the US?
Why is this?
- Live free or Die mentality
- Ease of access
- Low risk of harm
- Not enough training for the clerks / no mandated training for all clerks
- Lack of funding to enhance these checks as well as Merchant Education?
NH had the highest number of sales last year since 1992 with 18% of sales of cigarettes (vaping was not included as there was no regulation but are included in the survey happening now)
With the vape epidemic, this number could easily reach over 20% this year. This funding is used in part for funding the Regional Public Health Networks and several of the substance use activities/programs and practices offered throughout the state
We need to work on lowering the percentage of sales to minors. It is not just drugs or alcohol that present a possible danger to our youth.