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Am J Public Health. 1996 Feb;86(2):221-4.

Youth access to tobacco: the effects of age, gender, vending machine locks, and "it's the law" programs.

Author information

  • 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study evaluated the influence of age, gender, vending machine lockout devices, and tobacco industry-sponsored voluntary compliance programs ("It's the Law" programs) on underage youths' ability to purchase tobacco.

METHODS:

Twelve youths made 480 attempts to purchase tobacco in Massachusetts from over-the-counter retailers and vending machines with and without remote control lockout devices. Half the vendors were participating in It's the Law programs.

RESULTS:

In communities with no requirements for lockout devices, illegal sales were far more likely from vending machines than from over-the-counter sources (odds ratio [OR] = 5.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.3, 10.3). Locks on vending machines made them equivalent to over-the-counter sources in terms of illegal sales to youths. Vendors participating in It's the Law programs were as likely to make illegal sales as nonparticipants (OR = 0.87, 95% CI = 0.57, 1.35). Girls and youths 16 years of age and older were more successful at purchasing tobacco.

CONCLUSIONS:

The It's the Law programs are ineffective in preventing illegal sales. While locks made vending machines equivalent to over-the-counter sources in their compliance with the law, they are not a substitute for law enforcement.

PMID:
8633739
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1380331
Free PMC Article
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