POLICY STUDIES

Regulating Youth Access to Tobacco

Policies to reduce youth access to tobacco products from commercial sources include (1) compliance checks and enforcement of underage tobacco sales laws, (2) increasing taxes of tobacco products, and (3) restricting number or location of tobacco outlets. These policies aim at decreasing opportunities to obtain or use tobacco and making tobacco socially unacceptable. We have studied the associations between such policies and youth tobacco use and beliefs. For example, results of our study in California showed that tobacco outlet density was more closely related to youth smoking when clean air policies were weaker.1 In another study, tobacco outlet density within 0.75-mile and 1-mile buffer of youth homes was positively associated with past-month cigarette smoking, after controlling for individual- and city-level covariates.2 Using access surveys conducted by 4 confederate buyers in 997 tobacco outlets, we identified associations between a wide range of retail and community factors and youth access to cigarettes through commercial sources.3 Results of our investigation can help to identify and target at-risk communities and outlets to decrease youth access to tobacco

References cited:

  1. Lipperman-Kreda, S., Grube, J.W., & Friend, K.B (2012). Local tobacco policy and tobacco outlet density: Association with youth smoking. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50, 547-552. PMCID: PMC3360878
  2. Lipperman-Kreda, S., Mair, C., Grube. J.W., Friend, K.B, Jackson, P., & Watson, D. (2014). Density and proximity of tobacco outlets to homes and schools: Relations with youth cigarette smoking. Prevention Science, 15, 738-744. PMCID: PMC4029873
  3. Lipperman-Kreda, S., Grube, J.W., & Friend, K.B (2014). Contextual and community factors associated with youth access to cigarettes through commercial sources. Tobacco Control, 23, 39-44. PMCID: PMC3578042