Tobacco use results in more deaths than AIDS, unintentional injuries, suicide, homicide, and alcohol & drug abuse combined. (SAMHSA)
80% of adult smokers who are nicotine dependent report that they started smoking before the age of 18 (SAMHSA)
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Montana Youth Access to Tobacco - Synar & State Inspections


Why Do We Have Tobacco Inspections?

The SYNAR Amendment: In July 1992, Congress enacted the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act (P.L. 102-321), which includes the Synar Amendment (section 1926) aimed at decreasing youth access to tobacco. This amendment requires States to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under 18 years old. To determine compliance with the legislation, the amendment requires each State and U.S. Jurisdiction to conduct annual, random, unannounced inspections of retail tobacco outlets and to report the findings to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). States that do not comply with the requirements set forth in the amendment are subject to a penalty of 40 percent (40%) of their Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant funding.

MT SYNAR & STATE INSPECTION PROGRAM: Federal law dictates that Montana must reach an 80 percent compliance rate in order to retain Federal Block Grant Treatment Funds. Compliance is measured by conducting unannounced inspections of 575 randomly selected, licensed tobacco merchants annually. We use a federally approved process for every aspect of these inspections. As part of the state's commitment to lower the rates of sales to minors, re-inspections are conducted at up to 50% of the outlets found to be in violation during the random unannounced inspections. These inspections are not included in the Synar Compliance Rate calculation, but are helpful in ensuring the future compliance of violating tobacco outlets. In addition to these inspections, the state conducts an average of 625 additional inspections that are also not included in the Synar Compliance Rate calculation. This is another strategy employed to lower the rate of sales to minors.
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