In July 1992, Congress enacted the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act (P.L. 102-321), which includes an amendment (section 1926) aimed at decreasing youth access to tobacco. This amendment, named for its sponsor, Congressman Mike Synar of Oklahoma, requires states (i.e., all states, the District of Columbia, and the 8 U.S. Territories) to enact and enforce laws prohibiting the sale or distribution of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18. SAMHSA/CSAP is charged with overseeing states’ implementation of the Synar requirements and provides technical assistance to states on both the Synar requirements and youth tobacco access issues in general.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (SAMHSA, CSAP)
Under Synar, states are required to conduct random, unannounced inspections of tobacco outlets and report the findings annually to SAMHSA. State sample frames for these inspections must include at least 80 %of tobacco outlets in the state and sample both over the counter and vending machine locations accessible to youth. The sample size must be large enough to meet precision requirements and the completion rate must be at least 90%.
Response rate and sample size
In 2009, all states and the District of Columbia were in compliance with the Synar requirements.
SAMHSA-Tobacco Prevention/Synar Program and related web pages. Accessed September 3, 2010.