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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