Use of tobacco retail permitting to reduce youth access and exposure to tobacco in Santa Clara County, California

Prev Med. 2014 Oct;67 Suppl 1:S46-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.01.023. Epub 2014 Feb 7.


Objective: To target youth smoking, the impact of a local tobacco retail permit was evaluated on the number and location of tobacco retailers, and on the level of enforcement and compliance with tobacco sales regulations from 2010 to 2012 within unincorporated Santa Clara County, California.

Methods: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping of each of 36 tobacco retailers pre- and post-intervention, observational surveys of tobacco retail environments pre- and post-intervention, and post-intervention enforcement surveys to measure location of sales, level of enforcement action, and compliance with laws governing sale of tobacco products were conducted.

Results: Eleven (30.6%) of the initial 36 retailers selling tobacco at the start of the intervention stopped selling tobacco post intervention. Of these 11 retailers, one was within 500feet of another retailer, and three were within 1000feet of a K-12 school. Ten (91%) of the retailers who stopped selling tobacco were non-traditional retailers.

Conclusion: An immediate reduction in the number of stores selling tobacco occurred following implementation of tobacco retail permitting. Post-implementation, all retailers who underwent compliance checks were in compliance with laws prohibiting sales of tobacco to minors. Compliance with laws governing the sale of tobacco has potential to reduce access and use of tobacco products by youth.

Keywords: Adolescents; Minors; Smoking; Tobacco; Tobacco products.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Databases, Factual
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Government
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Social Control, Formal / methods*
  • Tobacco
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / prevention & control