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December 20. 2012 1:48PM

Tobacco sales to NH youth increased 60 percent over 2011

CONCORD - Tobacco sales to youth in New Hampshire increased over the past year from 7.8 percent to 13.2 percent, nearly a 60 percent jump, according to a recent state compliance check of 291 retailers across the state.

"While the results of the checks were well under the federal Synar requirement of 20 percent, this does raise concerns," said Joe Harding, director of the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS). "Research shows that lower tobacco use by youth also decreases the chance that they will use drugs or alcohol."

The compliance checks involve sending an underage buyer into a store to see if the clerk will sell tobacco products to him or her.

According to data from the New Hampshire Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), there is a dramatic increase in the use of alcohol and other substances in youth who smoke.

A 2007 YRBS survey of 22,000 students revealed that for every 28 students who smoke, 27 also drank alcohol, according to the news release issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services.

BDAS works with the New Hampshire Division of Liquor Enforcement in conducting the tobacco compliance checks.


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