ST. PAUL, MN - A new report released by the Minnesota Department of Human Services reveals Minnesota tobacco retailers are performing at an all-time high in complying with the law against selling tobacco to minors, Minnesota Public Radio reports.
For the 12-month period that ended September 30, the survey showed a 97.6% compliance rate, the highest since the state began conducting the survey in 1996, when the rate was near 70%.
"I think that working with our partners, we've really seen what a difference it makes when you make a concerted effort to try to prohibit tobacco from getting to minors," said Maureen O'Connell, assistant commissioner for the department's Chemical and Mental Health Services.
The survey inspected nearly 300 retailers, though it is distinct from law enforcement checks that are mandatory for tobacco retailers each year.
Minnesota needs to attain an 80% tobacco compliance rate to receive a $25 million federal block grant that pays for smoking prevention and treatment efforts.