Annual State Assessment Of Tobacco Sales To Minors

Dec 5, 2016

Credit PETER FRANZ / Flickr

The Wyoming Department of Health is asking for public input on tobacco sales violations, especially businesses selling to people under the age of 18. According to the national standard, each state is expected to keep the number of tobacco venders that have violated the laws below 20 percent.

According Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center’s Laran Despain, Wyoming’s violation rate since 2000 has been well below that with an average of 8 percent.

“The violation rate in 2016 was 11.7 percent, which was higher than usual. In 2015 our rate was 4.2 percent. That increase is especially big because last year was our lowest violation rate on record,” said Despain.

However, according to Despain, the violation rate for this year was usually high for Wyoming compared to past years and he has no clear reason why.  

“It’s been on a general downward trend with the couple exception in 2012 and 2016; but I don’t know if it’s those areas or the teenagers who happen to do inspections,” said Despain. “I don’t really have good reason for why the violation rate jumped those two times.”

Although the rate was still below the national requirement, Wyoming Survey and Analysis hopes that with public input they can figure out what caused the recent spike in tobacco sales violations.

The Department of Health is accepting comments until December 15, and they can be emailed to