Tobacco possession, use, and purchase laws and penalties in Minnesota: enforcement, tobacco diversion programs, and youth awareness.
ABSTRACT 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.
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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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ABSTRACT: The theory of psychological reactance predicts that, to the extent that smoking-control measures are perceived as threatening the individual's freedom to choose among behavioral alternatives, they may be met with resistance. Data were collected from a national representative sample of 2,400 young people (ages 16–20) by telephone interviews. Dispositional reactance was shown to be associated with smoking. Principal components analyses revealed that a distinction should be made between attitudes toward weak and attitudes toward strong smoking-control measures. Attitudes toward strong measures were particularly negative among regular smokers. Among regular smokers, dispositional reactance was found to be significantly associated with attitudes toward strong tobacco-control measures. Processes of psychological reactance deserve attention when designing smoking control programs.Journal of Applied Social Psychology 06/2009; 39(7):1718 - 1738. · 0.83 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Tobacco use continues to be the leading preventable cause of premature death in the United States, killing over 430,000 people annually. Tobacco initiation and use among youth remains a significant public health concern. Despite declines in U.S. youth tobacco use in recent years, state and national survey results are still cause for alarm. Although traditional school-based curricular programs are the most common strategy to prevent or reduce youth tobacco use, their effectiveness may be limited because young people are immersed in a broader social context in which tobacco is readily available. Environmental strategies change this social context by focusing on policy, enforcement, and media. A compelling body of evidence suggests that interventions at the state and federal levels can, when implemented in combination, reduce youth tobacco use. The impact of policies implemented at the local levels is less well understood and effects of environmental strategies on smokeless tobacco consumption have been largely ignored. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on environmental strategies implemented at the local level on youth use of both cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. We highlight results of the extant literature, hypothesize possible effects where research is lacking, and suggest where future studies might be warranted.Open journal of preventive medicine. 01/2011; 1(2):34-43.