SYNAR/ Compliance Checks

South Carolina Tobacco Laws

The Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006, which went into effect in August of that year, states that is unlawful for a minor under the age of 18 to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess tobacco products and/or to present false proof of age in an attempt to purchase or possess these products.

Penalties include:
• A civil fine of $25
• A total fine that can exceed $100 after court costs and fees
• An individual’s failure to complete his/her sentence gives the court the option to restrict driving privileges for 90 days or to deny issuance of a driver’s license 90 days past eligibility.

TEP is approved by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services.

Youth Access to Tobacco Study
According to the 2016 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 9.8% of Barnwell County youth in grades nine through 12 are current smokers, a rate that is higher than the national average (15.7%). As a result, The Axis I Center has made a major commitment to preventing underage tobacco use by encouraging retailers to comply with state laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors.

The annual Youth Access to Tobacco Study was developed to monitor the levels of youth access to tobacco products in the retail settings through compliance checks. The Axis I Center in collaboration with DAODAS conducts the annual SYNAR study each year during January and February as required by the SYNAR Regulation of the federal Public Health Service Act of 1993. The SYNAR Regulation is a federal mandate that requires each state to document a rate of tobacco sales to minors of no more than 20%. As part of the study, youth ages 15 to 17 visit convenience stores, grocery stores, drug stores, and other retail outlets and attempt to purchase cigarettes. The number and rate of cigarette sales to underage youth are documented by county, type of sales outlet, and demographics of the youth and sellers.

In 2017, Barnwell County had zero tobacco sells during the annual SYNAR study.