DMHAS Prevention and Health Promotion Unit
Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program (TPEP)

Enforcement/StateCompliance Inspection Checks



The primary purpose of enforcement of Connecticut’s tobacco control laws is to increase owner awareness in preventing youth access to tobacco products. The program's foremost objective, promulgated by the Federal Synar Amendment, is the Synar Non-compliance Rate (the percentage of tobacco retailers willing to sell tobacco products to minors). Maintaining Connecticut's federally mandated Synar Non-compliance Rate at or below 20 percent ensures that block grant funding is not adversely affected.

Target Population:
Tobacco merchants throughout the State

To meet State and Federal goals, TPEP Investigators use the following enforcement strategies in conducting unannounced compliance inspections throughout the year:

  • Synar Non-compliance Rate Inspections: Unannounced inspections conducted on a statically drawn sample of establishments to specifically determine Connecticut’s Non-compliance Rate as required under the federally mandated Synar Amendment.
  • Targeted Inspections: Unannounced inspections of establishments that have a previous violation or a complaint from the public.
  • Large City Inspections: Unannounced inspections of cities having more than 75 establishments where a team of investigators work to complete all the inspections in a condensed period of time for the purpose of generating a targeted inspection list for such cities.
  • Police Partnership Inspections: Unannounced inspections conducted in concert with State and local law authorities having a Memorandum of Agreement with DMHAS to enforce the criminal statutes of Connecticut’s tobacco youth access laws.
  • Eighteen Month Inspections: Unannounced inspections of establishments that have not been inspected in the past eighteen months to ensure that all Connecticut tobacco merchants receive an inspection with an eighteen-month period.
  • Merchant Education Inspections: Announced inspections initiated by the Investigators to personally meet establishment owners and/or staff to inform them about Connecticut laws, provide merchant education materials, and review and update license information.

Return to:  TPEP