Most retailers comply with tobacco laws
The N.D. Department of Human Services announced today that about 91 percent of licensed tobacco retailers involved in compliance checks in 2012 across the state did not sell tobacco products to minors. The results are part of a federally-mandated tobacco compliance survey the department conducts annually.
Three 15-year-olds and three 16-year-olds, working under adult supervision, made 227 attempts to purchase cigarettes and were successful only 21 times, for a violation rate of 9.3 percent.
“We commend retailers for helping decrease youth access to tobacco by asking for identification and refusing to sell to youth under the age of 18,” Elizabeth Cunningham, research analyst with the department said.
The statewide survey was conducted between July and September 2012. The compliance checks do not involve area law enforcement. States are required to conduct the annual scientific survey to received federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant funding. If non-compliance rates are above 20 percent, a state could potentially lose up to 40 percent of its block grant funding.
In 2012, the Department of Human Services received about $5.4 million from the block grant, which was used for public substance abuse treatment through the department’s eight regional human service centers and for substance abuse prevention programming across the state.
Records show that North Dakota has made progress in addressing the sale of tobacco to minors. Prior to 2000, the state’s non-compliance rate exceeded 30 percent.
Survey results are online at www.nd.gov/dhs/info/pubs/abuse.html.