Measuring statewide merchant compliance with tobacco minimum age laws: the Massachusetts experience

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Age Factors; Chi-Square Distribution; Cluster Analysis; Commerce; Female; Humans; Logistic Models; Male; Marketing of Health Services; numerical data; Massachusetts; *Plants, Toxic; Predictive Value of Tests; Sex Factors; Smoking; *Tobacco


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated merchant compliance with laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to minors in Massachusetts. METHODS: Stratified cluster sampling was used to select outlets from which youths aged 13 to 17 years attempted to purchase tobacco. RESULTS: Illegal sales were more common when the youth purchasing the tobacco was older, when the clerk was male, and when tobacco was obtained from a self-service display or unlocked vending machine. Failure to request proof of age was the strongest predictor of illegal sales. CONCLUSIONS: Measured compliance rates are strongly influenced by the age of the youths used to purchase tobacco.


Am J Public Health. 2001 Jul;91(7):1124-5.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID