Substance Abuse

Information About Tobacco Sales to Minors / Synar Amendment


Basically, 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. Michigan is one of these states!

Why should Michigan residents be concerns if retailers sell tobacco to minors?

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 MCOSA, 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 age individuals. Now all the retailer has to do is check the date in RED printed on the license to determine when it is legal to sell tobacco or alcohol to these young people.

What can we do?
We all need to do our part in keeping our children healthy and safe. If you see a retail clerk checking a license, take a minute to THANKS the CLERK for checking the Id before selling tobacco or alcohol. ruth!

Did you know ...
*The younger people begin smoking cigarettes, the more likely they are to become
strongly addicted to nicotine.

• More than 3 million kids under the age of 18 are current tobacco users.

• More than 6.3 million children under age 18 alive today will eventually die from smokingrelated
disease, unless current rates are reversed.

• Cigarette companies spent more than $15.2 billion in 2003 to promote their products. They
target young people because they are the ones that will be replacing people who have quit smoking or have died from smoking!

What's in a cigarette?

For answers to additional questions please contact?
Macomb County Health Department (586) 412-6393
or CARE Prevention Department (586) 541-0033

State of Michigan information on Synar,1607,7-132-2941_4871_29888-150144--,00.html

Legislation on Youth Tobacco Act

To view the Synar Manual click here!