DAODAS provides retailer and server education through PREP (Palmetto Retailers Education Program), originally developed by Circle Park Behavioral Health Services and LRADAC. The program is designed to modify the environment in which tobacco products and alcoholic beverages are sold and consumed. Activities range from educating bartenders about the importance of low-risk alcoholic beverage service to encouraging establishments to offer non-alcoholic beverage promotions, to training servers and retailers to screen for false identification in an effort to detect underage consumers. For more information about PREP or to set up a retailer or server education program in your community, contact your county alcohol and drug abuse authority or visit the PREP web page.
According to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 16% of South Carolina youth in grades nine through 12 are current smokers, a rate that is higher than the national average (15.7%). As a result, DAODAS has made a major commitment to preventing underage tobacco use by encouraging retailers to comply with state laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors.
Through the annual Youth Access to Tobacco Study, DAODAS monitors the state’s compliance with 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% by the year 2000. 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.
To read the “Annual Synar Report” for federal fiscal year 2016, click here.