Public health laws intended to prevent children from smoking have been enacted in many states. We surveyed the relevant laws in all states and the District of Columbia. The efficacy of one such law prohibiting the sale of tobacco to individuals under the age of 18 years was assessed with the cooperation of an 11-year-old girl. She was successful in 75 of 100 attempts to purchase cigarettes. On the basis of this experience and a review of existing laws, we have made recommendations for a model law. These include a prohibition of the possession of tobacco by minors, a prohibition of the sale of tobacco to minors, a requirement for a warning sign at the point of sale, a ban on cigarette vending machines, and a reward for individuals reporting violators of vending laws.
DiFranza JR, Norwood BD, Garner DW, Tye JB. Legislative Efforts to Protect Children From Tobacco. JAMA. 1987;257(24):3387–3389. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390240093030