The tobacco use epidemic is unabated in both adult and adolescent populations, despite the high level of resources and effort applied to this problem. Reducing commercial availability is a promising avenue to reduce adolescent tobacco use, because of the demonstrated ease in availability and the importance of commercial sources to adolescents. While the feasibility of policies to reduce commercial availability has been demonstrated, the effects of these policies are largely unknown. This application is for renewal of funding for Community Initiatives to Limit Teenage Access to Tobacco, called hereafter Tobacco Policy Options for Prevention or TPOP. The original goal of TPOP I was to study the effects of an intervention designed to change local policies and practices related to youth access to tobacco. TPOP I involved 14 cities in Minnesota randomly assigned to intervention or control conditions. The purpose of TPOP II is to determine whether and under what conditions the effects on adolescent smoking seen in TPOP I will be sustained or will decay over time.
The specific aims of TPOP II are to measure the continued effects of the original intervention by comparing the intervention and control communities on several measures at two points in time, and to monitor the natural history of change in tobacco availability to young people at the community level. This will be accomplished by surveying students in grades 8-10 regarding their tobacco use, perceptions of tobacco availability and tobacco acquisition patterns; conducting tobacco purchase attempts to determine the propensity of businesses to sell tobacco to underage purchasers; determining police enforcement actions regarding tobacco age- of-sale laws; determining police enforcement actions regarding tobacco age-of-sale laws; determining attitudes and practices of tobacco merchants; and measuring adult norms regarding adolescent tobacco availability and use. Data will be collected in all 14 TPOP communities in 1998 and 2000, two and four years following the end of the intervention.
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