This comes from a national study that monitors sales of tobacco to minors. The report comes from a congressional act aimed at decreasing access to tobacco for our youth called the Synar Amendment.
Every year the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration puts out a report detailing how every state performed when it comes to random compliance checks.
Oregon came in last, with nearly 18 percent of kids having access to cigarette–that’s almost double the national average.
KEZI 9 News talked with two different managers at stores that sold cigarettes. They seemed both shocked and saddened by the statistics. Both have signs up showing the required age to buy cigarettes and how employees can better make sure they’re following the law.
Here’s what both the managers had to say when it comes to where the system’s gone wrong — and how it can be improved.
“The tobacco industry itself cuts the inspectors out. There is not enough people to enforce,” said Makyadath Lazar, Lazar’s Bazar Owner.
“Anyone who sells cigarettes is highly trained not to sell to anyone underage. It’s up to their discretion. That might be where it’s breaking down,” said Jeff Keim, Thunderbird Market Manager.
The penalties for workers selling tobacco to minors are up to $700. While Oregon teens may have access, a study in 2011 revealed 11th graders smoked less than the national average.
While Oregon had the highest percentage for tobacco access to underage people, the state did meet the national guidelines by more than 2 percent.