State youth access laws often include restrictions for minor possession, use, or purchase of tobacco (PUP). The Minnesota PUP law allows cited youth to attend a tobacco diversion program in lieu of fines. We surveyed county attorneys in all counties (N = 87), tobacco diversion program coordinators (N = 47), and adolescents (N = 3,377) to assess PUP enforcement level, tobacco diversion program quality, and youth awareness of and experience with PUP laws and penalties. Although almost all county attorneys reported enforcement of the law, mean citation rates were low (9.3/1,000 youth) but somewhat higher in counties with tobacco diversion programs than in counties without such programs. Program coordinators also reported low attendance (Mdn = 30 adolescents per year per program). Almost 70% of classes were 2 h or less, and just 21.3% included multiple sessions; little variation in program approach or materials was observed, nor did programs meet criteria recommended for effective smoking cessation programs in this population. Overall, 59% of adolescents (79% among smokers) reported having heard of adolescents being caught by police or at school for smoking. Smoking prevalence was lower in counties with tobacco diversion programs than in counties without such programs (11.6% vs. 14.6%; adjusted OR = 0.8, 95% CI = 0.6-1.1). Receipt of a citation and attendance in a special class were more commonly reported among past-month smokers who lived in counties with tobacco diversion programs; the association for class attendance reached statistical significance. Our adolescent data provide some support for PUP laws as a potential tobacco control strategy, yet low citation rates and attendance in diversion programs of limited scope reduce the likelihood of detecting any benefit associated with this approach.
"While this result is modest, the public health implications are still potentially important. The current study contributes to a growing body of evidence supporting the potential effectiveness of PUP laws for reducing youth smoking (Jason et al., 2003; Jason, Pokorny, et al., 2007; Lazovich et al., 2001; Lazovich, Forster, Widome, & VanCoevering, 2007; Langer & Warheit, 2000). There are several possible explanations for what might account for the observed lower levels of smoking in towns with PUP law enforcement. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tobacco Purchase-Use-Possession laws (PUP) are being implemented throughout the US, but it is still unclear whether they are effective in reducing smoking prevalence among the youth targeted by these public health policies. In the present study, 24 towns in Northern Illinois were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. One condition involved reducing commercial sources of youth access to tobacco (Control), whereas the second involved both reducing commercial sources of youth access to tobacco as well as fining minors for possessing or using tobacco (Experimental). Students in 24 towns in Northern Illinois in the United States completed a 74 item self-report survey in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. At the start of the study, students were in grades 7-10. During each time period, students were classified as current smokers or nonsmokers (i.e., completely abstinent for the 30 consecutive days prior to assessment). The analyses included 25,404 different students and 50,725 assessments over the four time periods. A hierarchical linear modeling analytical approach was selected due to the multilevel data (i.e., town-level variables and individual-level variables), and nested design of sampling of youth within towns. Findings indicated that the rates of current smoking were not significantly different between the two conditions at baseline, but over time, rates increased significantly less quickly for adolescents in Experimental than those in Control towns. The implications of these findings are discussed.
Social Science & Medicine 11/2008; 67(11):1700-7. DOI:10.1016/j.socscimed.2008.09.028 · 2.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the strategies to control tobacco is to limit purchase of cigarettes to minors. To understand the attitudes of Italian adults towards regulations to prevent minors from purchasing tobacco products, we added specific questions to the annual survey on smoking in Italy.
During March-April 2007, we conducted a survey on smoking on 3,057 subjects representative of the Italian population aged > or = 15 years. Two specific questions were included, one investigating the attitudes towards the proposed legislation prohibiting purchase of tobacco to individuals under 18 years of age (instead of 16 years) as a policy to reduce smoking prevalence and consumption. The second question asked whether the current tobacco sales-to-minors law was observed.
Overall, 78% of Italians believed that a restriction of the current tobacco sales-to-minors law could be moderately to extremely effective as a strategy to decrease smoking prevalence and consumption. More than 90% of Italians reported that they had never seen in their lifetime a retailer refusing to sell cigarettes to an adolescent or requesting the minor's identification or age.
A restriction of the legislation, increasing to 18 years the minimum age for purchasing tobacco, would limit access to tobacco products by minors, only if adopted together with systematic and effective enforcement measures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction Twenty-eight US states have passed legislation for indoor tanning facilities. To our knowledge, whether these state laws are actually enforced has not been evaluated previously in all 28 states. Therefore, we interviewed key informants in these states to assess enforcement practices.
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