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March 17, 1993

Minors' Access to Tobacco—Missouri and Texas

JAMA. 1993;269(11):1362-1364. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500110026010

MMWR. 1993;42:125-128 (1 table omitted)

APPROXIMATELY 75% of adults who have regularly smoked cigarettes tried their first cigarette before their 18th birthday, and about half became regular smokers by age 18 years.1 Despite the importance of reducing smoking among adolescents, the prevalence of smoking among high school seniors has not decreased substantially from 1981 through 1991.2

See also p 1353.

National health objectives for the year 2000 have targeted substantial reductions in smoking among persons aged less than 20 years,3 and reducing access to cigarettes through laws or statutes4 is an important strategy in reaching this goal. This report describes the results of efforts in two states—Missouri and Texas— to characterize access of minors to cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Missouri:  On August 28,1992, a Missouri law (Missouri Revised Statute 407.925-407.932) went into effect prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to minors. From August 24 through