Objectives. Most studies have evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to reduce youth access to tobacco by having minors make one purchase attempt per store. This study examines whether multiple attempts per store provide a different, and possibly more accurate, description of youth access to tobacco from retail outlets.
Methods. Cigarette purchase attempts were made by 16-17 year old female youth in 199 retail outlets in Central California. Three attempts were made per store and a different youth purchased cigarettes each time. All purchase attempts took place within a one-week period. If asked their age, minors stated they were at least 18 years old. Upon request, youth provided photo ID indicating their correct age.
Results. A total of 31% of stores sold on the first attempt, whereas, 64% of stores sold cigarettes on at least one of the three attempts. Thirty-five percent of stores sold cigarettes once, 18% twice, and 11% three times. No pattern of sales based on attempt order was identified. The purchase rate for the first attempt was 31%, compared to 37% for attempts two and three each (c2 (df=2)=2.13, P=.35). No relationship was identified between sale on the first attempt and sales on subsequent attempts.
Conclusion. Our study demonstrates that sales rates based on one purchase attempt grossly underestimate youth access to cigarettes. A multiple attempt protocol should be adopted in underage tobacco purchase studies. The ability to provide a more accurate description of youth cigarette access outweighs logistical demands.
Learning Objectives: The participant will recognize the need to use a multiple purchase attempt protocol for youth tobacco purchase surveys
Keywords: Tobacco, Youth Access
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