Mobilizing positive reinforcement in communities to reduce youth access to tobacco

Am J Community Psychol. 1996 Oct;24(5):625-38. doi: 10.1007/BF02509717.


A community intervention to mobilize positive reinforcement for not selling tobacco to young people was evaluated. The intervention had five components: (a) mobilization of community support, (b) merchant education, (c) changing consequences to clerks for selling or not selling to those under 18, (d) publicity about clerks' refusals to sell, and (e) feedback to store owners or managers about the extent of their sales to adolescents. A multiple baseline design experiment was conducted, in which two small Oregon communities received the intervention, while two other continued in baseline. Outlets' willingness to sell was assessed repeatedly by teenage volunteers. The intervention significantly reduced the proportion of stores willing to sell. Mobilizing social and material reinforcement for stores not selling tobacco to young people is a viable means of reducing such sales. It may be especially valuable in communities where laws against sales to minors go unenforced.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marketing of Health Services*
  • Nicotiana*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Reinforcement, Psychology*
  • Social Support