Objective: To assess the prevalence of, and demographic and smoking behaviour correlates of, attempting to purchase cigarettes via the internet among adolescent current smokers.
Methods: A representative sample of 17 181 10th and 12th grade California students completed a written questionnaire on tobacco related attitudes and behaviour during the 1999-2000 school year. Logistic regression analyses were used to determine the variables associated with attempting to purchase cigarettes on the internet.
Results: Among youth under 18 years of age who were current smokers (n = 1689), 2.2% (95% confidence interval 1.5% to 2.9%) reported attempting to purchase cigarettes on the internet. Attempted internet purchases were more likely among younger respondents, males, frequent smokers, and respondents reporting lower perceived availability of tobacco products from retail and social sources.
Conclusions: Few adolescent smokers in California surveyed during the 1999-2000 school year had attempted to obtain cigarettes from the internet. As internet access increases, future studies should examine whether internet cigarette vendors sell to minors and whether adolescents are purchasing cigarettes on the internet.