Naum GP, Yarian DO, McKenna JP. Cigarette availability to minors . J Am Osteopath Assoc 1995;95(11):663. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.19188.8.131.523.
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Each year, more than 1 million children and adolescents begin smoking, and an average of 24% of high school students report smoking, despite existing laws that prohibit the sale of tobacco to minors. In this study, the authors observed an 11-year-old boy attempt to purchase cigarettes at 57 retail establishments in western Pennsylvania to determine if the existing laws do, indeed, limit children's access to buy cigarettes. This study took place between August 15, 1993, and October 2, 1993. The establishments included convenience stores, gas stations, liquor distributors, and restaurants. One of the researchers entered each establishment to look for the posting of the state law prohibiting the sale of cigarettes to minors after their underage subject had requested cigarettes from the salesclerks. The researcher also inquired of the salesclerks if they were aware of the state law. In 30 of the 57 attempts (53%), the 11-year old student would have been able to purchase cigarettes. Of these attempts, 53% would have sold them on his first request, while 47% would have sold them to him if he indicated that the cigarettes were for his dad. Only 3 of the 57 establishments (5.2%) posted the law, and 54 of the 57 clerks (95%) were aware of the cigarette law.
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