Evaluation of an enforcement program to reduce tobacco sales to minors

Am J Public Health. 1998 Jun;88(6):932-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.88.6.932.


Objectives: This study evaluated an active enforcement program to increase retailers' compliance with the law prohibiting tobacco sales to minors.

Methods: Tobacco sales to minors were monitored in 319 outlets in 6 pairs of communities in Erie County, New York. One community in each pair was randomly assigned to an enforcement intervention.

Results: Retailers' compliance with the law increased from 35% in 1994 to 73% in 1995. However, the change in compliance rates was roughly the same for stores in the enforcement and nonenforcement communities.

Conclusions: Active compliance checking of retail outlets as a strategy to reduce illegal tobacco sales to minors may only be necessary insofar as it contributes to an increase in retailers' perception that the threat of enforcement is real.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Smoking / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Social Control, Formal