The purpose of the study is partly to compare the possibility of adolescents purchasing tobacco before and after the introduction of the minimum age law of 18 years, respectively, and partly to examine the factors that characterize the situations in which adolescents may or may not purchase tobacco, respectively.
Under controlled conditions, adolescents of varying ages carried out test purchases of tobacco. A total of 1,500 attempted purchases were made with the help of 24 adolescents in three regions of Sweden. In 1996, the year before a minimum-age law of 18 for tobacco purchases went into effect, 750 attempted purchases were made, followed by 750 attempted purchases in 1999.
In 1996, 91% of the attempted purchases of tobacco were successful. In 1999, the corresponding proportion was 82%. The attempted purchases in 1996 and 1999 show a very strong relationship between whether an age check was made and the result of the attempted purchase.
The study shows that the introduction of a minimum-age law apparently has had a certain effect on the possibility of adolescent purchasing tobacco but that there are obvious shortcomings in the enforcement of the minimum age. The most apparent shortcoming concerns the lack of age controls. This article discusses measures for strengthening age controls in the sale of tobacco to adolescents.
2004. Vol. 32, no 1, 68-74 p.