Program Mission: To reduce retailer violations of the law prohibiting the sale and distribution of tobacco products to persons under the age of 18 through vendor education and working in conjunction with law enforcement to enforce those laws effectively.
In July 1992, Congress enacted the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act (P.L. 103-321) which included an amendment (Section 1926) aimed at decreasing access to tobacco products among individuals under age 18. The Synar Amendment was named after Congressman Mike Synar (b. 1950 - d.1996) from Oklahoma. He supported public efforts against underage tobacco smoking. The Synar Amendment requires that each state annually conduct random, unannounced inspections of a sample of tobacco vendors to assess their compliance with the State’s access law. An acceptable compliance rate is 20% or less for the State of Michigan.
What are the penalties for noncompliance rate of over 20%?
The penalty for a State is a loss of up to 40 percent of its Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant funds. This penalty could present a severe problem for a State.
In lieu of this penalty, Congress has provided an alternative penalty by which a State can avoid 40% reduction in its SAPT Block Grant if the State stipulates that it will spend its own funds to improve compliance with the law. This entails committing additional State funds to ensure compliance with youth tobacco access laws in an amount equal to 1 percent of its current fiscal year’s Block Grant for each percentage point by which the State failed to meet the retailer violation target rate for the previous fiscal year.
SOOAR’ Designated Youth Tobacco Use Representative (DYTUR), Valerie Kelley-Bonner, is responsible for conducting vendor education and official Synar inspection for 42 of the 43 cities in Wayne County. Substance use, prevention, treatment, and metal health program in our county rely on the funding that comes from SAPT Block Grant. Please consider this when you see a merchant sell tobacco products to a minor and report it by calling SOOAR at 734-697-9511. Together we can make a difference.
For more information on Federal Synar legislation, visit: https://www.samhsa.gov/synar
“This program was made possible by funding provided by Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority”