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JAMA. 2003 Sep 10;290(10):1356-9.

Internet sales of cigarettes to minors.

Author information

1
Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-7440, USA. kurt_ribisl@unc.edu

Abstract

CONTEXT:

There is growing concern that the Internet might become a source of tobacco products for minors. Although researchers have studied tobacco sales to minors at retail outlets for more than a decade, there are no published studies of tobacco sales to minors via the Internet.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the proportion of Internet cigarette vendors that will sell cigarettes to minors.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS:

Cross-sectional study conducted in April-July 2001. Under adult supervision, 4 adolescents aged 11 to 15 years attempted to purchase cigarettes via 55 Internet cigarette vendors located in 12 states. These minors made a total of 83 purchase attempts, paying by credit card (n = 47) and by money order (n = 36).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE:

Proportion of Internet cigarette vendors that sold cigarettes to minors.

RESULTS:

Minors successfully received cigarettes for 93.6% of credit card purchase attempts and for 88.9% of money order purchase attempts. Age was never verified for any of these deliveries. Internet vendors sent a total of 1650 packs of cigarettes to the underage adolescents in this study.

CONCLUSION:

Minors appear to have easy access to cigarettes via the Internet because many Internet vendors have weak or nonexistent age verification procedures.

PMID:
12966128
DOI:
10.1001/jama.290.10.1356
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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