Preventing cigarette sales to minors: the need for contextual, sociocultural analysis

Prev Med. 1994 May;23(3):322-7. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1994.1045.


BACKGROUND. Interventions designed to stop retailers from selling cigarettes to minors have been based on the untested and implicit hypothesis that the sole purpose of these sales is to maximize profits. Interventions have proceeded in the absence of clear empirical evidence that this profit motive alone actually predicts sales; there is no theoretical model regarding when, where, how, and why some retailers decide to sell cigarettes to minors while others do not. We present the first theoretical model of the retailer's decision to sell cigarettes to minors and argue that a variety of contextual and sociocultural variables enter into that decision. We discuss the manner in which this model might be used to improve the effectiveness of future preventive interventions with retailers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Commerce*
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Cultural Characteristics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Motivation
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking Prevention*