Decreasing access to cigarettes for youth in the Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort Study

December 10, 2007

New York, 10 December 2007 - New research in the December issue of Preventive Medicine, published by Elsevier, shows that there was a decline in access to cigarettes from commercial venues from 2000 to 2003.These findings are specific to the Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort study, a longitudinal telephone survey of youth less than 18 years old. The probability of an adolescent as young as 12 years of age buying cigarettes from a commercial source in the past month decreased significantly from 36% at baseline to 22% after three years.

In sharp contrast, the probability of their obtaining cigarettes from a social source in the previous month during the same time period increased significantly from 54% to 76%. "Although the use of social sources for cigarettes may increase when the commercial supply of cigarettes is restricted, the total amount of youth smoking seems to be reduced by increased commercial restrictions" comments Dr. Widome, the corresponding author.

These results are important because they indicate a decreasing access to commercial sources of cigarettes. It is well established that, apart from illegally buying their tobacco from commercial sources, underage smokers also obtain their tobacco from social sources like friends, relatives, older adolescents, and adults. For 14 to 18 year old minors in the US, the usual sources of cigarettes are a store (23.5%) or vending machine (1.1%); giving someone else money to buy them (29.9%); borrowing them from someone else (30.4%); stealing them (4.4%); or getting them in some other way (10.7%), which includes via the internet.

The good news in Widome et al.'s findings is that adolescents who obtained cigarettes from social sources were less likely to become heavy smokers compared to youth who bought their cigarettes from commercial sources.
-end-
Notes to editors:

The article, "Longitudinal patterns of youth access to cigarettes and smoking progression: Minnesota Adolescent Community Cohort (MACC) study (2000-2003)." appears in Preventive Medicine, Volume 45, number 6, December 2007, published by Elsevier.

Copies of the study are available to the news media by emailing newsroom@elsevier.com

About Preventive Medicine

Preventive Medicine is an international journal, publishing original, scholarly manuscripts pertaining to preventive medicine and public health. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other preventable diseases, lifestyle disorders and interventions, the effects of socioeconomic status on health, and environmental and occupational health.

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. Working in partnership with the global science and health communities, Elsevier's 7,000 employees in over 70 offices worldwide publish more than 2,000 journals and 1,900 new books per year, in addition to offering a suite of innovative electronic products, such as ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/), MD Consult (http://www.mdconsult.com/), Scopus (http://www.info.scopus.com/), bibliographic databases, and online reference works.

Elsevier (http://www.elsevier.com/) is a global business headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and has offices worldwide. Elsevier is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc (http://www.reedelsevier.com/), a world-leading publisher and information provider. Operating in the science and medical, legal, education and business-to-business sectors, Reed Elsevier provides high-quality and flexible information solutions to users, with increasing emphasis on the Internet as a means of delivery. Reed Elsevier's ticker symbols are REN (Euronext Amsterdam), REL (London Stock Exchange), RUK and ENL (New York Stock Exchange).

Elsevier

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