The effects of licensing and inspection enforcement to reduce tobacco sales to minors in Greater Philadelphia, 1994-1998

Addict Behav. 2001 Sep-Oct;26(5):677-87. doi: 10.1016/s0306-4603(00)00150-7.


This study examined the changes in tobacco sales to minors after active enforcement of merchant compliance to the Synar regulation and the city of Philadelphia Youth Access to Tobacco Ordinance 732. Data for the present study were obtained through Tobacco-free Education and Action Coalition for Health (TEACH) Program in a 5-year, follow-up retail compliance check survey of 1649 stores in 14 cluster areas of Philadelphia, PA. Trend analysis was conducted ofthe sales of tobacco to minors by type of retail outlet, gender, and age of the buyer, and gender, age, and race of the store clerk, and whether restriction policy signs were posted. Analysis indicates that there was a reduction in tobacco sales to minors after implementation of enforcement; sales dropped from 85% in 1994 to 43% in 1998. There were less sales to minors when signs were posted. There were differences in sales if the buyer was asked his or her age and whether the minor was asked to show identification. In addition, the age of the buyer and the brand of cigarettes were associated with sales. Future research should focus on both commercial and social availability and provision of tobacco to minors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent*
  • Age Factors
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Licensure / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Male
  • Philadelphia
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Smoking Prevention*
  • Social Control, Formal