HTML _ 98-678 - Tobacco Control: Enforcement and Effectiveness of Federal and State Youth Access Laws
19-Aug-1998; Stephen Redhead, Joy Austin-Lane; 6 p.

Abstract: This report reviews recent efforts to limit youth access to cigarettes through enforcement of federal and state laws prohibiting tobacco sales to minors. Under the federal Synar Amendment, states must conduct compliance checks and enforce their minimum age-of-sale laws or risk losing block grant funds. The Food and Drug Administration is also contracting with states to enforce its tobacco regulation, which prohibits underage tobacco sales and requires retailers to check photo ID to verify age. The tobacco industry sponsors voluntary education campaigns to encourage retailer compliance with youth access laws. Limited research suggests that retailer education without enforcement has only a modest impact on improving compliance. Retailer compliance improves significantly when there is active enforcement of youth access laws. However, studies suggest that underage smoking rates may not decline until retailer compliance approaches 100%. This report will be updated at the end of the 105th Congress to reflect the impact of any newly enacted legislation. [read report]

Topics: Agriculture, Economics & Trade

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