That's the finding of a state and federal inspection program intended to curb underage tobacco use.
The program involves random inspections conducted at stores to see if employees will sell tobacco to a customer under the age of 18.
A report released Thursday found that 8.5 percent of retailers violated the law, down from about 40 percent in 1997.
In a separate report the Centers for Disease Control found that adult cigarette consumption dropped 2.5 percent from 2010 to 2011.
Consumption of other smoked tobacco products jumped more than 17 percent in the same period.