Accessibility of cigarettes to minors in suburban Cook County, Illinois

J Community Health. 1998 Apr;23(2):153-60. doi: 10.1023/a:1018765508858.


This study assessed the problem of under age sale of cigarettes, educated vendors about the law restricting the sale of tobacco to minors, and determined the effectiveness of a vendor education intervention. Twenty-one teen volunteers, 14 to 17 years in age, attempted to purchase cigarettes in suburban Cook County from over-the-counter merchants and vending machines. Of the 347 vendors that were checked, the minors were successful in 37.2% of their attempts to purchase cigarettes. After information was sent to each vendor about the State of Illinois law, follow up visits were made to all the vendors who were willing to sell cigarettes to the minors during the first visits. Approximately 50% of the vendors were again willing to sell cigarettes to minors. This study's findings suggest that minors can easily purchase cigarettes in suburban Cook County. The education intervention component of the study had a limited but promising effect on compliance rates of the vendors.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Food Dispensers, Automatic / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Illinois
  • Male
  • Nicotiana*
  • Plants, Toxic*
  • Suburban Health