4306.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Table 8

Abstract #4392

Predictors of enforcement of laws to reduce illegal sales of tobacco to youth in 200 cities and counties in California

Kim Ammann Howard, PhD1, Kurt M Ribisl, PhD2, Beth Howard-Pitney, PhD1, and Gregory J Norman, PhD1. (1) School of Medicine, Stanford University, SCRDP, 1000 Welch Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304, 650-725-7084, khoward@scrdp.stanford.edu, (2) School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Campus Box 7400, Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Objectives: One of the most effective methods for reducing youth access to tobacco from retail outlets is active and regular enforcement of sales-to-minors using compliance checks. However, there is a dearth of information about the enforcement of these laws. The purpose of this study is to understand the attitudes of enforcement staff regarding youth access to tobacco, to determine the rate of conducting compliance checks, and to examine predictors of conducting compliance checks.

Methods: A written survey was completed by enforcement officials representing 200 cities and counties in California. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify predictors of enforcement.

Results: About one-third of enforcement agencies conducted compliance checks in the previous year (average number among agencies conducting at least one compliance check=2.1). Significant predictors of enforcement included: fewer perceived barriers to enforcement, more frequent collaboration with other agencies (e.g., educational and government organizations), and the belief that youth access to tobacco is a problem in their community. Other findings include: (1) limited resources was the most substantial barrier to enforcement; (2) collaboration on enforcement issues was lowest with groups most likely to receive tobacco control funding (e.g., health departments and voluntary health agencies); and (3) enforcement officials voiced the strongest support for enforcement penalties that were more restrictive (e.g., loss of tobacco license if caught illegally selling tobacco to youth) than those currently existing in California.

Conclusions: Given the low rate of compliance checks, these results can be used to inform intervention efforts to decrease youths' commercial access to tobacco.

Learning Objectives: By the end of this session, the participant will be able to: 1) Describe at least one effective method for reducing youth access to tobacco from commercial sources. 2) Describe factors associated with enforcement of laws that restrict youth access to tobacco. 3) List activities that can be implemented to increase enforcement efforts

Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Tobacco Control

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA