What are we doing to stop the sale of tobacco products to youth and what exactly is the Synar Amendment?
The Synar Amendment vs. Tobacco Products
The Synar Amendment was put in place in 1992 to reduce underage access to tobacco and keep our children healthy. Compliance with the Synar Amendment is a condition of funding for states receiving the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grant, and Michigan is one of these states.
Why should Michigan residents be concerned if retailers sell tobacco to minors?
Aside from the negative health eﬀects from tobacco use and the fact that an adolescent brain is still in development, forty (40) percent of the block grant funding can be withheld for not complying with the Synar Amendment. This could mean millions of dollars in federal funding will not come to Michigan if our retailers fail inspections. We all need to be conscience of the Youth Tobacco Act (no sales to people under 18) because Michigan must maintain a youth tobacco sales rate of less than 20% yearly on the formal Synar compliance check survey.
What are compliance checks?
Annual random, unannounced inspections are a requirement of the amendment. These checks are used to measure retailer compliance. Each coordinating agency, like MCCMH, develops a strategy to train retailer owners and clerks on the Michigan Youth Tobacco Act a law (Act 31 of 1915) which was amended in 1992 to satisfy another component of the federal requirement.
What is being done to assist retail clerks identify youth?
In an attempt to help retailers identify youth, the State of Michigan designed a vertical license that indicates a person is under 21 (people 21 and older still have a horizontal license). This eﬀort was established to help retailer quickly identify under-aged individuals. Now, all the retailer has to do is check the date in RED printed on the license to determine if it is legal to sell tobacco or alcohol.
For more information about the Synar Amendment, visit www.michigan.gov or click here.
Author: By Dawn Razdioch