Updated Mon, Aug 6, 2012 9:34 am
A new federal report shows that the numbers of Ohio retailers caught selling tobacco to underage customers declined to the lowest level since tracking began.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says 9.9 percent of Ohio retailers violated tobacco sales laws in fiscal year 2010.
That's down from 13.5 percent in 2009 and 15.9 percent in 2008. The agency has been tracking illegal sales for 15 years.
Increased enforcement with state compliance checks and increased education efforts are credited for the decline.
Nationally, some 8.5 percent of retailers were caught selling tobacco to minors.
Health advocates say the vast majority of smokers begin the addictive habit as teens.