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Am J Public Health. 2001 July; 91(7): 1124–1125.
PMCID: PMC1446711

Measuring statewide merchant compliance with tobacco minimum age laws: the Massachusetts experience.


OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated merchant compliance with laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors in Massachusetts. METHODS: Stratified cluster sampling was used to select outlets from which youths aged 13 to 17 years attempted to purchase tobacco. RESULTS: Illegal sales were more common when the youth purchasing the tobacco was older, when the clerk was male, and when tobacco was obtained from a self-service display or unlocked vending machine. Failure to request proof of age was the strongest predictor of illegal sales. CONCLUSIONS: Measured compliance rates are strongly influenced by the age of the youths used to purchase tobacco.

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Selected References

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  • DiFranza JR, Savageau JA, Aisquith BF. Youth access to tobacco: the effects of age, gender, vending machine locks, and "it's the law" programs. Am J Public Health. 1996 Feb;86(2):221–224. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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