Tobacco Sales to Minors at Record Low

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tobacco Sales to Minors at Record Low

Tobacco sales to minors fell to an all-time low in 2010 after increasing in 2009, a new report shows.

Retailers in the USA sold tobacco to minors 9.3% of the time, the report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows. The statistics are gathered as part of the Synar Amendment program, a federal-state partnership to curb tobacco sales to minors. The 2010 rate of 9.3% is the lowest in the program's 14-year history.

"It's really good to see the rate go down, especially after it went up last year," says Danny McGoldrick, vice president of research at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

In addition, 34 states had violation rates of less than 10% in 2010, up from 22 states in 2009.

Violations increased in 14 states, despite the national downward trend. Idaho, Maryland and New Hampshire, states with some of the highest rates of violations, saw rates increase from 2009.

The record low follows an uptick in tobacco sales to minors that occurred in 2009, where 10.9% of retailers had violations. The increase was the first in the program's history. It was also the highest rate since 2005.

Source: USA Today