Youth tobacco sales in a metropolitan county: factors associated with compliance

Am J Prev Med. 2007 Aug;33(2):91-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2007.04.010.


Objective: To describe and identify factors associated with tobacco sales in a metropolitan county.

Setting: King County, Washington is the largest county in Washington State with an estimated population of 1.8 million or about 30% of the state's population.

Data source: The data analysis is based on compliance checks in King County between January 2001 and March 2005. The 8879 checks were conducted by 91 youth operatives aged 14-17. Analysis of data was completed in 2006.

Statistical analysis: The outcome variable for this analysis was whether "a sale was made" to a youth operative during a compliance check. Associations between independent variables and the outcome variable were examined using 2 x 2 tables, univariate (unadjusted) logistic regression, and multivariate (adjusted) logistic regression analysis.

Results: Overall tobacco sales during the 4-year and 3-month period was 7.7%. Convenience stores selling gas were significantly more likely to sell tobacco products to minors, whereas restaurants, bars, and tobacco discount stores were less likely to sell to minors. Other factors that were significantly associated with sales are described.

Conclusions: In a county that has adopted many of the required youth access laws, opportunities still exist to reduce sales of tobacco products to minors. Asking for age and photo identification still appears to be an effective strategy in reducing sales of tobacco products to minors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Commerce / economics
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Law Enforcement*
  • Male
  • Nicotiana*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Tobacco Industry / economics
  • Tobacco Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Washington