Statewide evaluation of youth access ordinances in practice: effects of the implementation of community-level regulations in Massachusetts

J Public Health Manag Pract. 2004 Nov-Dec;10(6):481-9. doi: 10.1097/00124784-200411000-00002.


The objectives of the study described in this article were to test whether community-level youth access ordinances reduce adolescents' perceived access to tobacco, purchase attempts, and tobacco use. A telephone survey was performed of a random sample of 3,831 Massachusetts adolescents linked to a database of all town-level youth access ordinances in the state. Respondents' perceived ease of access to tobacco, attempts to purchase tobacco, and tobacco use (ever smoking and current [past 30-day] smoking) were assessed. The association of these outcomes with the characteristics of youth access ordinances in the respondents' town of residence (n = 314) was tested in multilevel analyses that included town-level clustering, controlled for multiple individual and environmental characteristics, including a measure of community-level anti-smoking sentiment. Community-level youth access ordinances were not associated with adolescents' perceived access to tobacco, purchase attempts, or tobacco use, with two exceptions: (1) banning free-standing displays was associated with a 40% reduction in perceived access to tobacco (OR = 0.6; 95% CI, 0.4-0.9) and (2) a vending machine ban was associated a 30% higher report of perceived access to tobacco (OR = 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.5). This study found no consistent associations between community-level youth access ordinances and adolescents' perceived access to tobacco, purchase attempts, or smoking prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Advertising
  • Child
  • Community Participation / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massachusetts
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Control, Formal*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco*