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Store tobacco policies: a survey of store managers, California, 1996–1997
  1. Zipora Weinbauma,
  2. Valerie Quinna,
  3. Todd Rogersb,
  4. April Roeselera
  1. aCalifornia Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section, 601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, California 95814, USA, bPublic Health Consultant, 101 First Street, Suite 426, Los Altos, California 94022, USA
  1. Dr Z Weinbaum, California Department of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Branch, Epidemiology and Evaluation Section, 714 P Street, Room 476, Sacramento, California 95814, USA. email:zweinbau{at}


OBJECTIVE To identify store tobacco policies and retailer perception and beliefs that may have contributed to changes in compliance with youth access laws in California.

DESIGN In the winter of 1996–7, a cross sectional, follow up telephone survey was conducted of California store managers whose stores were anonymously surveyed for illegal tobacco sales in the summer of 1996 (that is, 1996 Youth Tobacco Purchase Survey, YTPS).

SETTING A simple random sample of stores from a list of California stores likely to sell tobacco, used in the 1996 YTPS.

PARTICIPANTS 334 managers (77%) of the 434 stores surveyed in 1996 responded to the survey. After eliminating stores that stopped selling tobacco or were under new management or ownership, 320 responses of store managers were included in the analysis. The stores were analysed by type of ownership: chain, which included corporate managed (n = 61); franchise owned (n = 56); and independent (n = 203).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Responses of store managers were linked with the 1996 YTPS outcomes. Manager responses were compared by χ2 tests. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify store factors associated with illegal tobacco sales.

RESULTS A lower likelihood of illegal sales rate was associated with the chain stores when compared with the independent stores (odds ratio (OR) = 0.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.2 to 0.9). A lower likelihood of illegal tobacco sales was found in stores that implemented tobacco related activities in the previous year such as changing tobacco displays (OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.9) or adding new warning signs (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.4 to 1.2). Store managers' beliefs that youth were sent to their stores to do compliance checks also resulted in a lower likelihood of illegal sales (OR = 0.7, 95% CI 0.4 to 1.1).

CONCLUSIONS Store tobacco youth access policies, and managers' beliefs about the extent of youth access enforcement in the community, are important in reducing illegal tobacco sales to minors.

  • legislation
  • retail stores
  • youth access

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