||5R01CA093955-03 Interpret this number
||Battelle Centers/Pub Hlth Res & Evaluatn
||Community Surveillance and Novel Tobacco Products
Novel tobacco products (NTP), such as bidis and clove cigarettes (kreteks), are increasingly popular among youth who are attracted by their relative low cost, exotic packaging, sweet flavorings, ease of purchase, and the erroneous belief that NTP are less harmful than standard cigarettes. Little is known about the venues in which these products are sold or how often they are illegally sold to minors. Pilot studies show that the products are often sold in types of stores (e.g., gift shops and tattoo parlors) that are not usually included in compliance check programs, and that NTP are increasingly available in traditional tobacco outlets. Shifting to ubiquitous traditional tobacco venues is likely to result in increased demand for NTP. Preliminary evidence also suggests that NTP are more likely to be illegally sold to minors than are standard cigarettes, but our current knowledge of sales of NTP to minors is similar to our mid-1980's understanding of illegal sales of standard cigarettes. That is, we have little more than anecdotal information upon which to base community interventions. A nationally representative sample of stores in 75 U.S. communities will be screened to determine where NTP are available for sale (availability), and how availability changes (prevalence and types of outlets) over a two year period. In a cross- sectional component, buy attempts will be made in stores that sell NTP to determine the national prevalence of illegal sales (accessibility) and to contrast illegal sales of NTP and standard cigarettes. Interviews with key community informants and collection of archival documents will be used to determine community characteristics and community interventions that affect illegal sales to minors. Telephone interviews with merchants will be used to determine merchant and store characteristics that influence illegal sales. The information generated by this work will be distributed directly to state and local enforcement officials and policy- makers to assist them in making rational decisions regarding which products and which stores to include in compliance check programs, and which interventions are likely to reduce illegal sales in their communities.