TEXAS STEP - Tobacco Enforcement


Learn more about Texas Statewide Tobacco Education & Prevention

Kickin' a little ASH!



"Since 1993, Texas STEP has provided direct training to more than 5,500 officers and educators, who in turn have provided tobacco compliance education and materials to over 10 million Texans around the state, with 6.6 million of those being school-aged youth. 

Those participating law enforcement officers have educated another 15,000 officers, over 37,000 tobacco retailers, conducted more than 80,000 tobacco "stings" and 85,000 compliance inspections of tobacco retailers since Senate Bill #55, (75th Leg), Texas' comprehensive tobacco enforcement act, was signed into law in 1997.

As seen in the chart below, the reward of this diligence in education and enforcement reveals itself as Texas' violation rates regarding underage sales of tobacco stand at near 5%, far less than the 20% federal performance standard mandated under the Synar Amendment of 1992."

Texas Comparative Stats on Tobacco Retailer Stings, Illegal Sales, & "Buy Rates"

"The one standard by which each state is judged in keeping their federal money flowing for drug prevention and substance abuse treatment is how many times they can send a kid into a store to see if that store will illegally sell a pack of cigarettes, or a bag of chew.  If that happens more than 20% of the time, then that state can lose up to 40% of their federal block grant, which in Texas' case is around $55 million dollars per year.

In Texas, we have spent $2 million dollars a year supporting local law enforcement's efforts in S.B. #55 tobacco enforcement.  That same effort keeps us from losing $55 million federal dollars.  That should be a viewed as a wise investment in anyone's perspective. 

This year, during the 81st Legislative Session, Texas lawmakers decided to stop making that investment.  I believe this was an oversight by legislators who were focused on a massive budget cutting effort, and who may not be aware of the consequences of that decision.  We need your help in making them aware."

- H.M. Hancock, Director of Texas STEP, August 31, 2011


  More data on the success of Texas tobacco enforcement & Texas STEP!    

  Texas STEP's Home Page!    






Learn more about Texas Statewide Tobacco Education & Prevention

Copyright 1993-2011 Texas Statewide Tobacco Education & Prevention - H. M. Hancock, III - Director
All Rights Reserved.


Texas Statewide Tobacco Education & Prevention Institute
West Campus - Strahan House
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive, San Marcos, Texas,  78666



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