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Article
January 6, 1989

Reducing the Illegal Sale of Cigarettes to Minors

Author Affiliations

From the Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University School of Medicine (Dr Altman), and the Center for the Study of Families, Children and Youth, Stanford University (Ms Rasenick-Douss), Palo Alto, Calif; Health-Works Associates, Pleasant Hill, Calif (Ms Foster); and the Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass (Mr Tye).

From the Center for Research in Disease Prevention, Stanford University School of Medicine (Dr Altman), and the Center for the Study of Families, Children and Youth, Stanford University (Ms Rasenick-Douss), Palo Alto, Calif; Health-Works Associates, Pleasant Hill, Calif (Ms Foster); and the Baystate Medical Center, Springfield, Mass (Mr Tye).

JAMA. 1989;261(1):80-83. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420010090039
Abstract

This study reports on an effort to stop the illegal sale of cigarettes to minors. In Santa Clara County, Calif, 412 stores and 30 vending machines were visited by 18 minors aged 14 through 16 years with the intent to purchase cigarettes; they were successful at 74% of the stores and 100% of the vending machines. After an aggressive six-month campaign using communitywide media, direct merchant education, contact with the chief executive officers of chain stores and franchise operations owned by major companies, and grassroots work with community organizations, the percentage of stores with illegal over-the-counter sale of cigarettes to minors was reduced to 39%. Sales from vending machines were not reduced. While much remains to be accomplished in stopping the illegal sale of tobacco to minors, data from this study illustrate that a well-designed community and merchant education campaign can significantly reduce such sales.

(JAMA 1989;261:80-83)

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