Synar Amendment

Section 1926 of the U.S. Public Health Services Act, referred to as the Synar Amendment, requires states to decrease youth access to tobacco. All states are required to:

  • Develop a sampling frame that includes both over-the-counter and vending machine locations accessible to youth and young adults under the age of 21
  • Ensure that the sampling frame includes, at a minimum, 80% of the tobacco outlets in the state (CSAP requires states that use a list frame to conduct and report the results of a coverage study designed to assess the completeness of the sampling frame.)
  • Design a sampling methodology and implementation plan that are based on sound survey sampling methodology
  • Sample a large enough number of outlets to meet SAMHSA’s precision requirement (one-sided 95% confidence interval)
  • Obtain a completion rate of 90% or better
  • Record the actual steps of the survey process in the field and keep records of all sources of sample attrition in the field

The law also requires states to meet established compliance rates or be subject to up to a 10 percent reduction of Substance Abuse Treatment and Prevention (SAPT) Block Grant dollars for prevention and treatment services.

Since State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2002 (July 1 to June 30), the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioHAS) has been working with the Ohio Department of Public Safety Investigative Unit (OIU) to conduct unannounced inspections at randomly-selected locations. Prior to SFY 2002, the Department worked with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which subcontracted with local health departments, law enforcement and/or other interested entities to conduct the randomly selected inspections.

For further information about the Synar Amendment and Program:

Tobacco 21

As of October 17, 2019 it is illegal to give, sell, or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products like e-cigarette/vaping products to any person under the age of 21. See Ohio Revised Code 2927.02 for the law's exact language.