Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mystery Shoppers Cut Underage Smoking

Date:
April 16, 2009
Source:
BMC Public Health
Summary:
Enforcement of laws against the sale of cigarettes to minors does result in a reduction in underage smoking. New research provides the first evidence that enforcement programs can be effective on a national scale.

Enforcement of laws against the sale of cigarettes to minors does result in a reduction in underage smoking. New research provides the first evidence that enforcement programmes can be effective on a national scale.

Joseph DiFranza led a team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School who investigated the effects of the Synar Amendment, a law passed in the United States in 1996 that compels local authorities to carry out 'decoy shopper' tests on tobacco retailers. He said, "The impact of tobacco sales law enforcement has never before been evaluated in a national study. As states complied with the Synar Amendment, there was a 20.8% reduction in daily smoking among 10th graders, after controlling for other factors".

By making it financially dangerous for shops to sell tobacco to underage customers, cigarette supply to this vulnerable group is reduced. The authors found that the main reductions were seen in the 'daily smokers' group; but reductions in the number of occasional smokers are also expected. According to DiFranza, "Novice smokers obtain their cigarettes by begging from friends and do not typically spend their own money until they feel a need to smoke every day. Daily smokers make most purchases and win friends by supplying peers with cigarettes. Thwarting the sale of tobacco to youth affects daily smokers directly and nondaily smokers mostly indirectly as their friends become less willing to share when it becomes difficult for them to purchase".

The cost to government of enforcing the law is around $150 per retailer per year. The authors point out that an extra two-cent tax on tobacco products would be sufficient to fund a comprehensive enforcement system. Cigarette price increases were estimated to be about twice as effective as sales enforcement in reducing underage smoking, but, as the authors conclude, "There is no reason why policy makers should choose between these approaches - all effective measures to reduce smoking among youth should be employed".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BMC Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joseph R DiFranza, Judith A Savageau and Kenneth Fletcher. Enforcement of underage sales laws as a predictor of daily smoking among adolescents - a national study. BMC Public Health, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BMC Public Health. "Mystery Shoppers Cut Underage Smoking." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190939.htm>.
BMC Public Health. (2009, April 16). Mystery Shoppers Cut Underage Smoking. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190939.htm
BMC Public Health. "Mystery Shoppers Cut Underage Smoking." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190939.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins